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Into the woods: 9 ideas for fairytale forest images


From Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest to the headless horsewoman mentioned to hang-out Savernake Forest, woodlands have lengthy served because the backdrop for fairytales and ghost tales. From the Brothers Grimm to Hans Christian Andersen, folklorists have lengthy woven tales of mischief and magic within the woods—a mysterious place the place giants and goblins roam.




The path to the light... by Daniel ?e?icha on 500px.com

Lately, amid the stress of the pandemic, a brand new era of artists have put a contemporary spin on the timeless thought of the “enchanted forest.” Some photographers tapped into the “cottagecore” and “goblincore” developments that took over our social media feeds, whereas others reimagined traditional tales. Many rediscovered hidden gems near dwelling, spending hours beneath a cover of timber in native parks and trails.


White Walkers by Kilian Schönberger on 500px.com

In autumn, Daniel Rericha chased the fog within the Ore Mountains. In winter, Kilian Schonberger donned his snowshoes, drawing inspiration from the work of George R.R. Martin. In spring, Jovana Rikalo photographed fairytale heroines among the many cherry blossoms. In summer time, Stefan Hefele explored the luxurious rainforests of Vancouver Island.

Comply with these 9 tricks to create otherworldly footage of your personal.


The Stairway. by Inge Bovens on 500px.com

Get up (very) early

Capturing within the morning brings a number of benefits: first, you’re extra prone to encounter foggy circumstances following a chilly evening. Second, you’ll be capable of seize these first rays of super-soft daylight as they filter in via the timber, particularly on humid or damp days. You possibly can at all times use the daytime to scout your location after which return to your spot earlier than daybreak.

As a bonus, birds and different wildlife are normally energetic early within the morning, so that you may encounter somebody sudden alongside the way in which. (Simply keep in mind to follow ethical practices when photographing wildlife.) It’d take a substantial amount of endurance to seize a photograph like this one, nevertheless it’s value it; Lars Van De Goor occurred upon this rabbit whereas chasing the early morning daylight in springtime.


Alice by Lars van de Goor on 500px.com

Watch the forecast

From wet days to pristine snowfalls, among the most enchanting moments in nature are additionally probably the most fleeting. Maintain a calendar, and take into account recording key dates for wildflower blooms, autumn leaves, and different seasonal occasions. Clear and sunny—however foggy—mornings are normally finest for capturing gentle rays, making them a favourite for nature photographers with an eye fixed for the fantastical or ethereal.

Verify the forecast repeatedly all through your favourite season, and be able to go at a second’s discover. Many forest photographers additionally take day by day walks within the woods, both alone or with a canine companion, in order that they’re already there when the right circumstances arrive.

Fast tip: If it’s moist, or in case you plan to shoot a stream, pond, or small physique of water, carry a polariser. This may scale back glare, whereas additionally giving these lush greens a vibrancy increase.


Elves Cathedral by Stefan Hefele on 500px.com

Into my dreams by Isabella Tabacchi on 500px.com

Comply with the sunshine

The place of the solar can even decide what path you’re going through. Generally, gentle coming in from the edges or again of your topic is finest as a result of it creates depth, whereas entrance lighting can lead to a flattening impact. Meaning you’ll normally be transferring and going through towards the sunshine (or that common space). Maintain an eye fixed out for streams of sunshine and the place they fall all through the day, and be ready to maneuver because the solar does.

Convey a tripod

Forest images is a little bit of a juggling act, requiring you keep gentle in your ft and able to transfer whereas additionally requiring longer shutter speeds to assist compensate for low gentle circumstances. For that purpose, a light-weight carbon fiber tripod is difficult to beat; you may connect it to your backpack with out it weighing you down. That’s to not say you may’t shoot handheld; you actually can and may, nevertheless it’s good to have the choice both manner.

(Even with a tripod, it helps to be particularly aware of your shutter pace, particularly on windy days when the leaves begin transferring.)


Fanal Ents by Daniel Kordan on 500px.com

Look ahead to sundown

Keep out for the sundown, too. Relying on the circumstances, you may even be capable of catch fog at the moment as nicely, as Daniel Kordon did on the Fanal Forest in Madeira a number of years again. “I used to be lucky to see the magical fog at my very first sundown,” the artist remembers. “Simply after arrival to the airport, I headed to Fanal.”


Birchwood blues by James Mills on 500px.com

Discover twilight

Because the solar dips under the horizon, you’ll get these moody tones that really feel evocative of fantasy tales. Contemplate scheduling your shoot for the blue hour, and even work into the evening, capturing the glow of starlight and moonlight because it reaches throughout the panorama. Simply be sure to’re getting sufficient gentle by selecting a extra open patch of forest and adjusting your publicity settings as wanted.


Hänsel und Gretel by Robin Halioua on 500px.com

Search for particulars

One frequent grievance amongst panorama photographers who’re newer to forests is that these areas are typically overwhelming, outlined by overlapping branches and “an excessive amount of” info. When you encounter this concern, slim your focus. Discover one factor that jumps out to you, and focus your composition round it.

Search for methods to “declutter” the body: you are able to do this by choosing a lens with a slim angle of view, reminiscent of a telephoto, or you might shoot with the intention of cropping your photograph while you get dwelling.

You should use a shallow depth of area to throw the whole lot however one factor properly out of focus, or you may play with publicity in order that elements of the body fall into darkness whereas others shine. One other trick is to reap the benefits of that morning fog, which might have a “smoothing” impact all through your complete body.


The Old and Rusty Road by Martin Podt on 500px.com

Keep protected

Be ready and keep protected on the market! When you’re headed someplace alone, inform a buddy the place you’re going. Try the route you propose to take, and assess any dangers or obstacles you may face alongside the way in which. Keep on any clearly marked trails, each to your security and the security of the ecosystem. Convey loads of water, snacks, and a working GPS. Costume comfortably (lengthy sleeves and pants), and put on layers and durable footwear; sunscreen and bug repellent will also be non-negotiable.


The forests song by Tracy Lundgren on 500px.com

Lakeside House by Nelleke Pieters on 500px.com

Seek for places in every single place

The fantastic thing about forest images lies in the truth that you are able to do it nearly wherever, even in an city park or sanctuary. There’ll at all times be well-known, iconic landscapes which have been photographed hundreds of instances, however forest images is a bit totally different as a result of it’s all about discovering magic within the particulars others overlook.

When going about your day by day life, preserve an eye fixed out for attention-grabbing timber and places, and make an observation of them. You can too go on devoted walks or hikes with out your digital camera to absorb the surroundings and picture what it’d appear like underneath totally different circumstances. You may then return someday down the highway, whereas the bluebells are in bloom or the mist rolls in.

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