Tree Photography




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Adapted from Trees in Winter, Blakeslee and Jarvis

There is no more fascinating hobby in winter than photography.  Whether the ground is covered with snow, affording the contrast of white and black, or whether the fields and trees are bare,  the opportunity is equally alluring.  Winter photography presents some problems, however, with which the Scout must be familiar.  

The condition and position of the sunlight are matters of prime importance in the photographing of trees.  Full light is desirable and the sun should be somewhat behind and considerably to one side of the camera.  If light comes from behind the tree a mere silhouette of the branching is obtained,  while if the light is directly back of the camera the trunk and crown appear flat from lack of contrast.

When one side of the trunk, as viewed from the camera, appears dark and the other side in direct sunlight, all the branches of the tree in the finished picture, as well as the trunk, will appear solid.  The position of the light is of even more importance in photographing the bark.  Depressions and ridges seem to disappear when the light shines directly against them and a somewhat lateral illumination is therefore necessary to bring out the details of the bark sculpturing. 

The position of the camera must also be considered.  A tree viewed from below appears different from what it would if viewed on the level and from a distance. 

It is generally useless to attempt to show much detail in the method of branching of an individual tree if the crown cannot be seen clear above the sky line.  A covering of snow, however, may offer as good a background as the sky and allow a tree to be photographed against a hillside where otherwise a satisfactory photograph would not be possible.  

A white sheet held behind the trunk may afford an artificial background for a bark photograph.  Generally this is not necessary since bark photographs are taken at close range and the surrounding objects are mostly out of focus.  






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On Nature's Trail ] Animal Tracks ] Birds in Winter ] Birds Nest Collections ] Nature Collections ] Signs in Jan-March ] Signs: Nov-Dec ] Trees in Winter ] Animals in Winter ] Winter Tree List ] [ Tree Photography ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.