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jorisj January 08, 2015
Bravo!
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tropicala January 17, 2015
Beautiful capture of light!
 
janeteadamowski July 05, 2015
Nice forest........beautiful shot
 
LarryGreene July 11, 2015
Fantastic shot. I love the dramatic light and colors!
 
ovosphotography August 21, 2015
well done!
 
jamesfelt December 16, 2016
Nicely Done :)
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jimfbauty December 30, 2016
Beautiful. Reminds me of the forests on Vancouver Island, B.C. when my daughter took me in search of chanterelles (edible fungus like mushroom).
 
Shanitski April 23, 2017
Beautiful!!!!
 
cynthialesley June 05, 2018
Exceptional capture!
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Nostroboy July 13, 2018
Excellent one ! Well done !

The Forest Floor



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Awards

Contest Finalist in Tall Trees Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Our Natural Planet Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Our National Parks Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Our Natural World Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in The Light Through The Trees Photo Contest
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Contest Finalist in Divine Forests Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in The Magic Of Green Photo Contest
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+23
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+19
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Superior Skill
+11
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Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken in Olympic National Park, in Washington State, USA. This is on a small trail near Sol Duc Falls.
Time
We found this trail late in the afternoon as the light was starting to slide behind the mountains.
Lighting
The forest makes for very challenging lighting situations. The forest canopy is thick, making the shadows and overall light levels very low, but the bright sun coming through the gaps dramatically illuminates the undergrowth where it breaks through.
Equipment
This was shot with a Nikon D800E, Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lens and a circular polarizer to reduce the glare/reflections from the foliage. It was shot on a Gitzo Traveler 1542T tripod with an Induro BHD-0 head. When not on the tripod, the D800E hangs from a Black Rapid RS-7 strap mounted to an M-Plate Pro.
Inspiration
For me, photography is a means to open people's eyes to the amazing scenes in nature, big and small, and hopefully inspire them to seek them out for themselves. The warm late day light pooling on the thick green moss made the whole forest look like a fantasy scene. The sun on the nurse log to the left of the frame seemed to emphasize the new life growing out of the old.
Editing
The challenge here was in the dynamic range. The nearly black forest floor and the bright, low angle sun required the blending of multiple exposures, as well as general adjustments to light and dark points. I removed some bright colored sticks and dead leaves (I leave nature undisturbed, but some cleanup in post-production helps keep focus on the overall scene) and did selective sharpening and contrast adjustments.
In my camera bag
For a scenario like this where we are day-hiking, I carry my D800E with the 24-70mm f/2.8 Nikkor lens because my focus will generally be on landscape scenes and detail shots of the forest where sharpness is important. I occasionally regret not having a longer lens when interesting wildlife is visible, but the 24-70mm serves me well otherwise. I hike with a Gitzo Traveler 1542T tripod with Induro BHD-0 ball head attached to my pack. In an easily accessible pouch, I have a circular polarizer, variable ND filter, small rocket blower, and cleaning cloths. While I often have a remote trigger as well, I tend to use the 5-second timer on the camera instead for most landscape shots.
Feedback
Often, creating photos is purely intuitive, but it can help to have a bit of a structure in mind when intuition isn't speaking to you. Start by watching the light. When good/interesting light catches your eye, identify a subject (which can be as simple as the play of light itself on a surface), then work your way around to a composition. It is easy to take a lot of photos that lack one or more of these elements because, to your eye, the scene is appealing. They rarely end up being compelling images, however, as I have repeatedly learned the hard way. Here, I composed it with the lines of the tree trunks as a framing element, and took a series of bracketed exposures to give myself a lot of dynamic range coverage. For scenes like this, it's worth checking as you go to make sure you captured detail in both the highlights and the shadows. This is, of course, shot on a tripod using a wide focal length and a relatively narrow aperture (often f/16) to maximize depth of field. Be careful about lens flare when shooting into the sun like this, and realize you'll need to watch your exposure/metering for the same reason. Finally, make sure you enjoy the scene as well. Don't get so focused on the camera that you don't stop to appreciate the amazing world you have in front of you.

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