How to Perfectly Capture Dramatic Light in Forests

If you'd like to know how to add real drama to your images in forests, such as incredible rays of light and gorgeous sunbeams, then this will be extremely helpful for you.

For every genre of photography and even narrower niches within certain genres, there is always the perfect scenario that aficionados are looking out for. In surf photography, for example, it is when an unbroken wave hits a shallow part of the sand or reef and stands up in a wonderfully symmetrical triangular peak, offering the surfers and viewers dual possibilities in which way they might ride the wave. It's even better if there is some kind of interesting background, like a mountain. In surfing parlance, these are called A-Frames, for obvious reasons, but they are the golden tickets that surf photographers are typically looking for when they shoot from land.

In forest photography, using the trees and the light to create drama and atmosphere is the goal for many. But how can you create such drama when you head into a forest to shoot? That brings us to this great video by Adam Gibbs, in which he takes you deep inside a forest and shares his techniques for shooting rays of light spearing through canopies and tall, majestic trees. I really liked the way he got close to subjects in order to limit the amount of light coming into the frame. There is a lot of other great info, so give the video a look and let me know your thoughts. How do you get the best out of forests?

Iain Stanley's picture

Iain Stanley is an Associate Professor teaching photography and composition in Japan. Fstoppers is where he writes about photography, but he's also a 5x Top Writer on Medium, where he writes about his expat (mis)adventures in Japan and other things not related to photography. To view his writing, click the link above.

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