During the shoot
Composing a forest scene
Adam asked David to set up his own photo composition of Tarr Steps, then suggested ways to improve it…
 The dark tree trunk framing the image is too distracting. Recomposing to include only the leafy canopy still gives the suggestion being surrounded by trees.
 The large expanse of green grass takes away from the forest feel, so the shot is better recomposed to minimise this.
 The larger sign is ugly and distracting; the smaller signpost is much more keeping with a national park, and so it’s fine to keep this in.
 Photographing in public places inevitably means that members of the public will be milling around, so when you’re happy that you’ve got everything else just right, wait for the footfall to clear – they’ll move eventually!
 The water can be smoothed and glare removed using a polarising filter.
A little gardening
After half and hour of searching for the ‘perfect’ bracken in the ideal setting, Adam suggested that David take part in a little horticulture. He explained that, although you’re trying to show what you see, sometimes a little surreptitious gardening can improve your shot.
There’s no harm in pulling up dead foliage to remove it from the shot (as long as it actually is dead) or gently pushing rogue straggling stems into a different position if it gives you a better shot.
Previously, David admits he paid little attention to what was at his feet and concentrated solely on the distant landscape, but Adam explained that good foreground interest helps puts the viewer in the frame and makes them feel as if they’re actually standing there. So it’s really important to spend a lot of time looking for the right foreground.
The moorland is made up of heather and bracken; the heather fills it with colour, while bracken gives form and an interesting shape. However, the trick is to use a wide-angle viewpoint that looks down to foreground interest to include it, rather than shooting through it.”
Don’t chase the light…
…wait for it! The day David and Adam went out was quite showery, with some heavy downpours, and David admits he’d have probably packed up and gone home if it weren’t for Adam. Our professional photographer explained that the changeable weather meant they’d get their shot if they were patient, and the wind pushing the clouds along would result in sunlight dancing over the fields.
PAGE 1: Meet our professional photographer & apprentice
PAGE 2: During the shoot – composing a forest scene
PAGE 3: Final tips from our professional photographer
PAGE 4: Our professional photographer’s recommended gear