Blur does not have to be the bane of tree photography! It can be useful, and can be used to add moodUsually, sharpness and perfect detail is the goal, but how about adding a bit of blur for atmosphere? Or how about taking a different perspective, or shooting a silhouette for mood?

Today, I will give you some tips to distinguish your images from the clichéd shots all around you…


Rather than keeping your images sharp, why not try blurring them for added impact? Panning your camera downwards during an exposure creates trees with mystical streaks of blur, and long exposures of forest with clouds moving above them creates movement in the leaves and the clouds.


For now, through ‘correct exposure’ out of the window, and shoot an impact- full silhouette! Choose a tree that has an interesting form, and pitch it against an interesting background – a dramatic sky, bright sun, etc. Choose a fast shutter speed, and a narrow aperture to ensure that the silhouette is totally – or almost totally – black.


How about a change in perspective to give an original, and interesting change? Shooting a canopy of trees from below, or shooting up a tree’s trunk and into the crown is a good way to do this.

Lying on your back will result in more stability than bending over backwards, so remember to bring something to lie on!

Explain in Black and White…

Try shooting a tree, or forest, in black and white for a bit of a twist. This is quite a common technique, but you can still create your own, unique shot, especially if you combine it with another technique in this article, such as a shift of perspective…

Make some noise!

Digital noise is usually discouraged in photography, but can also be used to create a novel image. Adding film grain in photoshop is usually more attractive, and converting the image to black and white and adding mono grain is usually the most common practice.

The Filter>Artistic>Film Grain, or Filter>Noise>Add Noise commands can be used in Photoshop to add grain.