Types of Tree Photographs
There are many different ways to photograph trees, and these ways tend to fall in one of several general categories. I am writing here in terms of a cataloguer of photography, rather than from the perspective of a photographer, although I times I do tend to give in to my delusions of adequacy in the field. 1) Base of Tree:
Photographs of the base of a tree are a common form. These should have something or someone in the same general plane as the tree to provide a scale to see the size of the tree trunk and show the base of the tree growing from the ground surface. Without something for scale, the viewer cannot tell if it is a really fat tree or simply a closer view of a skinny one. The photograph may include anywhere from a few feet of the base of the tree to a fair portion of the lower trunk. 2) Entire tree from a distance
: Trees can be photographed from a distance so that the entire tree can be seen. This is an excellent way to take a portrait of single open grown trees with large crown spreads, for trees growing in the forest – not so much. Typically you can’t get far enough away in a forest setting to get a complete shot of the entire tree. These trees also are often tall with a narrow spread and do not look impressive from a distance. The advantage it that there is little perspective distortion for shots taken from a distances. a.
Miles Lowry provides an example of a variation of this shot. http://www.nativetreesociety.org/photography/index_photo.htm
He writes: “My images of both forests and savannas are made of various combinations of square images captured with my medium format Hasselblad. I use old style film. After developing it chemically, I scan the negative and improve the images digitally. Instead of hiding the dark film edges when I combine the images in Photoshop, I emphasize them. “ Some of his work is shown on the ENTS website: http://www.nativetreesociety.org/photography/lowry/miles_lowry.htm 3) Crown views:
Upward looking shots of the crown of a single tree or groups of trees.4) Up along the trunk to the crown:
In this type of shot the camera is placed very close to the trun of the trees so that the view framed extends up the trunk and into the crown. Depending on whether a wide angle,, normal, or telephoto focal length is used changes the perspective of the image5) Vertical panoramas of the trunk:
These photos are created from a series of shots taken as the photographer tilts up from relatively near base of the tree to the crown of the tree. They can then be stitched together manually or using photo-stitching software. A similar effect is achieved using a wide angle lens. The image can be cropped to emphasize the vertical nature of the shot.6) Views Across from other trees or elevation:
These are photographs taken from one tree across space to another. If taken using a wide angle lens they have an unusual, but not objectionable characteristic, form barrel distortion in which both the top of the tree and the base of the tree appear to bend away from the viewer. Another approach to this type of photograph is taken by James Balog in his book “Tree: A New Vision of the American Forests” in which a series of photographs are taken looking horizontally from one tree to another at different heights to make a panorama without the distortion from tilting the camera. The background behind the tree in each image does not form a continuous image, but the trunk of the tree does. http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-media/product-gallery/0760762163/ref=cm_ciu_pdp_images_all 7) From the top looking down
This is an unusual perspective in that most people to not see trees from the top looking down – this is a view achieved by tree climbers. There is the intimacy of the branches and trunk near the photographer and receding away as trunk reaches the ground. Some similar effects can be seen when shooting straight down from a high cliff, bridge or other elevated position above the tree. 8) Tree details:
Shots of particular details of branches, leaves, fruit, bark, and other details.
examples show above are photos by Will Blozan
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky