Photographing in a wood or a forest is a real challenge that I have never quite mastered, but I am determined to keep at it. On a walk today around Ashdown Forest near Hartfield, I tried a few techniques out.
One first problem is that the trees are so damn tall it is often difficult to get enough of them in the frame- in the shot above I have stitched together two pictures vertically to give some sense of how this tree dwarfed everything around.
This picture also is evidence of another problem within woods- deciding with so many different trees how to make a simple composition- in that picture, the comparative bulk of the main tree made it simpler. In an exit from the woodland, it was even easier to create a single-minded image:
At other times, I was presented with a path and trees all around- I’ve ended up having to use Photoshop to try to create some kind of distinctive contrast to draw the viewer through the frame and along the path.
On other occasions, as I turned away from the path, there was simply a mass of undifferentiated trees. At least today, the cloudy conditions actually helped me, as the glorious dappled light of summer woodland is actually particularly challenging to photograph without the bright spots getting all burnt out. No risk of that with today’s dulness which I could then contrast up in my cheating software:
Nevertheless, I wanted some foreground- the legendary Pooh Bridge, where the fictional bear and Christopher Robin played Pooh sticks provided some:
And then, out into the open and just enough colour to make me switch off the black and white for a moment: