7 Tips for Incorporating Trees Into Your Photos

By Rob Wood (Admin) / December 1, 2009

Incorporating trees into a landscape photo or even as the main subject of a photo can be an easy way to add a nice compositional element to the image. Here are a few things you might like to consider when thinking about putting a tree in your shot.

Don’t forget the rule of thirds – in a landscape shot, trees are a very easy element to add and lend themselves to being an effective element in composing the shot along the line of the rule of thirds.  Trees often present both horizontal and vertical lines that you can use (and sometimes both) so take advantage of that.

Consider Bracketing with the Tree – Trees can also often be used effectively to bracket or frame a shot. That is to say you can use the tree to fill the edges of the image on one or two sides – similar to the shot below.


Photo by Floato

Use the Lines of the Tree to Guide the Eye – The trunks and branches of trees can also be used as a compositional element to draw the eye to an area (or the main subject) of an image. Notice in the image below how the branches of the tree bring the eye back into the photo.

flagstaffscape #1

Photo by Mugley

Trees Make Great Silhouettes – If you are out shooting landscapes or sunset photos, then chances are you are going to have a chance to capture trees in silhouette. This can really add a great element to a photo.

Symphony of Colours

Photo by Garry

Don’t be Afraid to Fill the Frame – While trees can be a great way to frame a shot or incorporate in a landscape composition, they can also make for a spectacular shot as the main subject of an image too. Don't be afraid to experiment with filling the entire frame with a tree.

Take Advantage of the Colour – If you're lucky enough to be shooting in the great outdoors at certain times of year, the sheer colour of trees can be an incredibly vibrant for any photograph. Take advantage of that and get out there!

Photo by TozoPhoto

Don’t Forget About Reflections – If you can find a body of water near trees, you can usually compose some quite interesting reflection photographs. Now, a reflection won't save a poor photo, but a well composed reflection of a tree can make a very interesting image.

almost winter

Photo by Mathias Erhart


About the author

Rob Wood (Admin)

I'm Rob, the editor of Light Stalking. I try to keep this ship on course.

  • Great use of trees in photographs. Thanks for the inspiration!


    Wedding Photography Miami

  • James K says:

    thanks for some great tips here. definitly going to get out at the weekend and photograph some trees!

  • Mark D says:

    So how does one keep the tree in focus? My camera (Sony DSC-H50 P&S) has a terrible time focusing on trees.

  • James K says:

    thanks for some great tips here. definitly going to get out at the weekend and photograph some trees!

  • Diego says:

    -Thanks for the pointers! nicely done. Gained more useful information which make me look for trees diffferently. Will definetly incorporate more trees in my landscape photography!

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