This photo was taken last February in the Oregon Coast Range, and is a location that I enjoy visiting frequently. It is a forest that still has a mix of big, old trees, something that has unfortunately become rare in Oregon. Most of our old-growth forests have been logged, and some some of our beautiful, ancient trees that weren't logged have been decimated by wildfire in recent years. This particular spot is a place where one could sit all day, just "forest bathing" and listening to the sounds of the stream.
I live in a forest, and love to be in the forest, so I am also drawn to forest photography. However, it's often challenging. In deep forests there can be little light ... and when the sun does penetrate the canopy, shadows and highlights can be harsh. That's why I always try to do forest photography during overcast days (or even during a light, misting rain). Luckily, we get plenty of that in the Oregon Coast Range!
The light on this day was just about perfect. Another challenge with forest photography is that forests can create overly "busy" scenes. I have to admit to pulling a few branches out of this shot, just to tidy it up a bit. Finding a leading line in a forest can also be tricky, and I believe the stream in this photo gives a nice line for the eye to follow. I also chose to frame the scene with the big cedar tree on the left, and the mossy rocks in the foreground, both of which give additional texture to the image.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor