Australia is fortunate to have so many wonderful rainforests. Large areas are protected and visitors are encouraged. Life is hectic for many of us these days, so it’s a joy and a privilege to experience the tranquility, beauty and clean air of a rainforest. I love spending time in them with my camera. But rainforest photography can also be really challenging. Here are few basic techniques and tips which can start you along the right path in these tricky environments. I want to outline the six most effective ideas I’ve discovered for quickly achieving better rainforest shots.
1. Use nature’s diffuser
Beginners might be surprised to learn that by far the best weather for shooting in a rainforest is when it’s overcast. The clouds act as ‘nature’s diffuser’ and they’ll stop unsightly highlights and shadows appearing in your images. Whether you’re photographing a waterfall or cascade, buttress roots or a valley filled with tree ferns, subtle lighting will really help you to take a good rainforest photo. On cold mornings mist will often appear throughout the forest, and if you happen to be in the right place at the right time, rays of light can also appear beaming through the rainforest canopy. The combination of overcast weather, mist and rays of light can make for very special rainforest images. Remember, this often happens around sunrise, so early starts are unfortunately essential!
This story was first published in the Australian Photography + Digital April 2013 issue.
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