As our Shoot Like A Pro series on landscape photo ideas continues, this week we take a look at woodland landscapes. Dark, shady forests and woods are full of detail and shapes. But you don’t have to capture this detail for effective woodland images. Below are some of our best landscape photography tips for shooting lone trees, vast forests and more.
It’s all a blur
The pursuit of sharpness and detail is the holy grail of most landscape photographers, but it’s not the only way to shoot scenic images.
A little blur can add a sense of mystery and uncertainty to your shots of woods and forests. There are two simple ways to achieve creative blur in-camera – by moving the camera during the exposure or by using a soft-focus filter.
When moving the camera, the upright trunks of the trees mean you’ll get the best results by moving the camera up or down. Use a shutter speed of around 0.5sec. You’ll also get smoother blur by mounting the camera on a tripod, and moving the head during the exposure.
You can buy soft-focus filters, but you can also make your own. Don’t use this technique on your best filters though.
If you don’t have an old one to use, buy a cheap skylight or UV filter, then wipe a tiny amount of Vaseline onto the filter to create the blur. Once you’ve finished, keep this filter separate from your other kit.
For both effects, shoot a sharp frame as well as a blurred one, then combine the two. To do this in Photoshop, start with your sharp image as the Background layer, then copy and paste the blurred image on top.
You can adjust the opacity of the blurred layer to around 50% so the sharp image is just visible behind it.
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