Mastering the Art of Capturing Big Trees: A Complete Guide

trees photography

Hello, Aspiring Photographers and Nature Lovers!

Trees – those silent witnesses of time, changing seasons, and fleeting moments.

How many times have you walked past a tree, felt its majestic aura, and thought, “I wish I could capture this!”?

Great news – you absolutely can!

Whether you’re a newbie with a smartphone or an enthusiast with a professional camera, this guide is your ticket to capturing the soul of trees.

Let’s embark on this green journey together!

trees photography

1. Why Photograph Trees? Understanding Their Timeless Appeal

Before we dive into the techniques, let’s ponder a bit.

Trees have stood tall and proud through centuries, witnessing history unfolding.

From the gnarled branches of ancient oaks to the delicate blossoms of cherry trees, there’s a story in every twist, turn, and leaf.

By photographing them, we’re preserving a piece of that history.

Remember the old tree at Grandma’s backyard?

Think about capturing its essence for generations to enjoy.

trees photography

2. Laying the Groundwork: Equipment and Observation

Your Equipment:

  • Smartphone: Most phones nowadays have fantastic cameras. Apps like ‘Snapseed’ or ‘Lightroom’ can further enhance your photos.
  • DSLR or Mirrorless Cameras: These offer more control. If you’re serious about photography, consider investing in one.

Observing Your Subject: Spend some time with the tree. Feel its texture, listen to the rustling leaves. Is there a bird’s nest hidden among the branches? Or perhaps carved initials from lovers of long ago? These tiny details can transform your photos.

trees photography

3. Techniques to Elevate Your Tree Photos

Working with Angles:

  • Low-Angle Shots: Perfect for tall trees. For example, stand at the base of a giant redwood and shoot upwards. This technique captures its immense height.
  • High-Angle Shots: Ideal for sprawling roots or ground foliage. If you’re on a hill and spot a tree down below, use this angle!
  • Level & Side Shots: These are versatile and straightforward. Aim for symmetry or contrast, like a lone tree against a city skyline.

Frame & Composition:

  • Think of the background. A tree with a sunset backdrop differs vastly from one against a misty morning. Both have their unique charm.
  • Rule of thirds? It’s a classic! Imagine your frame divided into nine equal rectangles, try placing the tree at one of the intersections. This technique is pleasing to the eye.

trees photography

4. Pro Tips for Exceptional Photos


  • Golden Hour Magic: Just after sunrise or before sunset, everything bathes in a soft golden hue. Picture a maple tree during fall in this light – breathtaking, right?
  • Shadows & Silhouettes: Use the midday sun to cast long tree shadows on the ground. Or capture tree silhouettes during twilight.

Adding Elements:

  • A reading bench, a bicycle leaned against the trunk, or even footprints around a tree – they all tell stories.

Minimizing Distractions: Got a pesky lamppost in the frame? Adjust your position or use a wider aperture to blur the background.

trees photography

5. Seasons & Trees: A Visual Spectacle


  • New leaves, blossoms, and that fresh green hue! Imagine capturing an apple tree, its branches laden with delicate pink blossoms.


  • Thick foliage, vibrant greens. Perfect for close-ups of leaves, showing their intricate veins and patterns.


  • A riot of colors! A forest in autumn is like nature’s palette gone wild. Reds, oranges, yellows – it’s a spectacle.


  • Snow-capped trees, bare branches against gray skies, or the intricate frost patterns on pine needles – winter has its own charm.

6. Weather Dynamics & Photography

While bright, clear skies can make for some great photos, have you ever tried clicking when the weather’s being a bit… moody?

Picture this: a tree shrouded in mist, giving off mysterious vibes.

Or imagine snapping a pic just after it rains; those glistening raindrops on leaves shine like tiny diamonds!

And oh, don’t get me started on puddles.

They can be like nature’s mirror, reflecting a tree upside down.

Cool, right? So next time the weather seems imperfect, grab your camera.

Mother Nature might just surprise you with the perfect shot!

trees photography

7. Finishing Touches: Enhancing Your Photographs

Once you’ve captured that epic tree shot, there’s a secret sauce to make it pop even more.

It’s called post-processing.

Now, don’t be mistaken – we’re not about changing what you captured but giving it a little boost!

Think of it as makeup for photos.

A little tweak in brightness here, a pinch of contrast there, or a dash of color correction, and voila!

Your photo might just go from being ‘cool’ to ‘WOW!’.

Just like how a sprinkle of salt perfects a dish, these finishing touches can make your tree photos magazine-worthy!

trees photography

8. Sharing & Inspiring

You’ve got those amazing tree photos, now what?

Hide them in a folder? No way!

It’s time to share them with the world. Whether you hop onto online photography groups (there are tons out there!) or simply show them to your friends and family, get them out there.

Why, you ask? Well, your photos have the power!

They might just light up someone’s day or even inspire another budding photographer to pick up a camera and start their own journey into the incredible world of tree photography.

trees photography

In Conclusion

Capturing the essence of trees is an art, a journey, and a joy.

Every tree has countless tales waiting to be discovered, and through your lens, they can be shared and cherished.

So, pick up your camera, head out, and let every click be your homage to these timeless giants. Here’s to capturing the whispers of the trees!

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