The biggest photography mistake you can make in woodland photography

Sunday, it is the middle of the night, 3a.m. I’m awake and feel like I could pull out trees. But it’s the middle of the night. There are still more than three hours until sunrise. So I lay down on the couch, read a bit in the internet and plan my photo tour. The weather forecast says, it is going to be foggy. I’ve been waiting for fog forever! Finally, I fall asleep again, until at 5:30 the alarm clock wakes me rudely from a weird dream.

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One look out of the window and I am awake. Fog, the most beautiful, dense fog! The question of whether I should go back to sleep is off the table. My camera batteries are charged, the memory card is emptied. I quickly pack something to eat and drink and then I’m ready to go.

 I drive up the hills through dense fog. I want to take my first photo of the day from the top. What a bummer, my tripod is still at home! So back home, get the tripod tripod and back again. What sounds annoying at first, was a huge luck. The light was already much better and this beautiful photo was the result.

Fog everywhere - everywhere but in the forest

I decided to go to the forest in Baltmannsweiler. Here are many old beeches and some oaks, which are beautiful photo motifs. There is only one problem: there is no fog. The apple trees on the meadow next to the hiker’s parking lot are in dense fog. But the forest path is as clear as a polished diamond. Not a wisp of fog far and wide.

Anyway, I decide to walk a little through the forest. There are many forestry paths and small paths that depart from the main path. Surely a nice photo motif can be found here?

Well, not really. The light is not good, there is no fog, not even any good mushrooms can be seen. Either they have already  been beaten away or are half rotten. That was probably nothing. Somewhat frustrated I take a small breakfast break and decide that I better go back to my car and go somewhere else.

Baltmannsweiler (9)
Spoiler: Later there was fog

Woodland Photography - I almost made a mistake

I almost made the biggest mistake you can ever make in woodlany and any kind of landscape photography. Besides forgetting your memory card and spare battery. I do not go back the direct way, but the  a bit further along the small path, which will lead me to the main path. The best decision I could make! Because only shortly after my break, a few meters further through the forest ist starts to show, fog!

At first still timid, soon thicker and thicker clouds of fog move through the trees and immerse everything in a mystical light. Gladly I did not go back earlier, but have taken a break and still went the slightly longer way.

On the way to the main path I find then really beautiful motives. This old oak has done it to me particularly. Proudly it stands there, between the beeches. As if it wants to keep up the memory of the king. A patient model, which I photographed a lot.

Baltmannsweiler (4)

I continue to the “Schlösslesseen”, two small lakes in the forest, which are also in the fog. Here, too, I managed some really nice shots. I am glad that I am here and can take advantage of the fog.

Baltmannsweiler (13)

On the way back, which leads via the small path to the king (the remains of giant oak tree), there is unfortunately hardly any fog. The path is a little lower than the main trail. At least some clouds still waft through the higher trees. Later even some sunrays made it through the fog and clouds, which has led to really beautiful shots.

Baltmannsweiler (15)
Baltmannsweiler (17)

A small tree has caught my eye. I moved a little closer, took some pictures and then took a second breakfast break. But as soon as I sat down on an old tree stump and drank some water, I saw a glow in the corner of my eye. Immediately I jumped up and took advantage of the short time when the sun’s rays came through the mist and illuminated the little tree as if hit by a spotlight. For such mornings getting up way before sunrise is really worth it!

Baltmannsweiler (18)

Woodland photography - The biggest mistake you can make

So, what is this mistake I was talking about? The biggest mistake you can make is to overturn your plan in the short term. Panicking from one place to another because you don’t immediately find the conditions you were hoping for. This is called FOMO, fear of missing out.

But this will eventually lead to exactly the opposite. You will miss the best moment if you rush from one place to the next. Into the forest, out of the forest, into the car, out of the car, into the forest and it’s all over.

Believe me, I’ve been there! Not today, but often enough. No fog there, no sun, I’ll try the woods 20 minutes away, over on the opposite mountain. No sooner had I arrived there than the most beautiful fog rolled in at my point of origin. Countless times I have already experienced it.

Once you’ve decided on a patch of forest or a specific location, stick with it. Sometimes conditions won’t change, but often enough your patience will pay off.


Have you made this mistake, too? What do you think is the biggest mistake in photography? Let me know in the comments.


Always best light

wishes Tanja

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