Who doesn’t like walking in woodlands? Fresh air, exercise and relaxation all at once… what could be better?
Well, I could name a few things! But at the end of the day, woodlands are cool places. Literally and actually: on a hot summer’s afternoon, with a cooling breeze wafting gently through the trees and dappled sunlight, woodlands are definitely hard to beat.
It always surprises me to see so few people about whenever I venture into the woods in the image below, where I spent a few minutes talking to the old chap seen walking away towards the carpark. These are part of Minwear Woods in Pembrokeshire, not far from Blackpool Mill.
Taking photographs in woodlands can be a challenge, especially on a bright sunny day, when your camera may be confused by the sheer number of dark and light points, causing it to over- or under-expose the image. It all depends on how the camera ‘reads’ the light at the point of focus, or if it is ‘evaluating’ the whole, or part of the scene. Having a reasonably good camera may help – although most cameras are pretty good these days, and getting better all the time!
In the photograph below, of a back-road winding downhill through a wooded area, the light was streaming in from the left, giving big differences between lights and dark areas, which caused my camera to keep trying to overexpose the image, compensating for the deep shadows.
Tip: if you have a dslr camera, and aren’t sure what sort of exposure settings you need to get the best shot on ‘manual’ settings, and have time, try seeing what the camera wants to do on ‘auto’ settings first. Take a ‘test’ shot and see if the result looks like you want it to. If it does, then great, you’ve got the shot! If not, then you have a starting-point from which you can manually dial in your own settings to increase or decrease exposure times. Don’t be afraid of trying things out… you’re unlikely to ‘break’ your camera!