The National Forests offer us a photographic bounty. My interest in outdoor photography is rewarded on these public lands as I look for interesting patterns, color, texture, and just tremendous beauty. Below are a few basic photo tips to help you capture your experiences on the forest. It’s not about fancy equipment; it’s about having fun in majestic places and depicting them in a way that is meaningful to you. It might be a huge vista, or a creek, or just an interesting old stump.


Pause and ask yourself ‘what am I trying to show?’ A shoreline, great forest vista or maybe a plant detail? Your “composition” –what you include and exclude – determines what is important. Often, tilting the camera down so you have just a small band of sky really helps bring the foreground into the frame. It’s not always easy, but imagine the picture before you take it. Try to achieve what you’re visualizing by where you stand, where you point your camera, and whether you zoom in or out. How do you frame a great shot outside?