An hour in the woods

After over six years of living in my area, I finally decided to make a little effort to go find some woodland to play in. Our garden was hit hard this year by the hot dry weather, and it’s not quite as pretty as I want and it hasn’t been inspiring me like it used to.

I could have gone James’ route, and created my own woodland inside to play, but with a few days off work, I decided to make the half hour trip to a forest! It’s so close to where I work, it’s actually pretty inexcusable that I haven’t gone there to take toy photos before. On this trip, I didn’t have much time to play, an hour at most, but with the sun still coming up, it was the perfect hour to spend in the woods. It was great to get out and about shooting toys again.

Knowing I only had a short amount of time to play with, I made myself choose a small selection of toys the night before. I packed Ed and Sam (the TV head customs), as well as some Star Wars figures and a few accessories that I thought could work in the woods. I could have spent hours playing, even with just this small selection. It also reminds me that when out and about with toys, sometimes less is more! (On that note, I must remember not to overpack for London, which is now only a week away!!)

I don’t have any inspiring tips for shooting in woodland and I don’t have any outdoors skills to pass on, but I enjoyed that hour in the woods so much, I just wanted to share some of the photos I took! It was a little like coming home to the comfort zone of toy photography for me and the light just felt magical as it came up between the trees.

Using my macro lens really let me get some pretty rays and bokeh. Just the kind of light I love!

LEGO Han Solo with teddy bear
Where’s the Wookie when you really need a hug? Luckily Han has his trusty teddy bear with him!

More glorious sunshine. Getting down low and using tree stumps proved effective on this trip! Plus, some of them were really cool looking!

LEGO Star Wars Troopers
Morning coffee breaks are key to successful missions.
Old tree stumps proved great for setting up photos on!

The trail we were following was well laid out and is used by cyclists. Perfect for Ed and Sam to get on their bikes!

Adventures often take place by bike. Even TV Heads know the importance of exercise!

It was also nice to see some green moss in the woods! It was everywhere, and if it wasn’t for the signs saying not to remove anything from the woods, I might have ‘borrowed’ a little to plant up!

Look, it’s definitely this way!

As well as all the toy photographs I took, I was also happy with just staring at the pretty trees. There is something about the woods at 7am that is restful and peaceful. It really was the perfect start to the day and I am already looking forward to making the trip back out there with my toys in tow (and for longer this time!)

Relaxing light breaking through the trees is a great start to a day!

Have you got a woodland location near you to shoot in? What kind of photos do you like to shoot there and do you have any top tips for making the most of this location? Let me know in the comments! I’ll need all the advice before heading back out there!

  • Lizzi

2 Comments

  1. We’ve been blessed to live in the woods for the past three years. We’re in the Sierra Nevada foothills in California, so there’s a lot of oak, pine, manzanita and such. It’s pretty dry, but we do have some hardy moss on some trees and rocks. Lots of pine needles and oak leaves carpet the ground, along with acorns during some parts of the year. Fallen trees and stumps are available, too. What prompts us to jump in the car for a photoshoot is looking for sand or water. Fortunately, there’s a river about 20 minutes away that fits that bill, too!

    I really like the shots you got, Lizzi. Not sure that I have any forest-specific advice, except that lately I’ve gotten more aggressive about clearing an area to set the scene the way I want it. Forests won’t be bothered if I brush aside all the leaves and pine needles to make a cleaner shot for little Lego people, but for a long time I didn’t even think to do it because I’m not used to disturbing Nature.

    Once I started moving things around, I got bolder, and now I’ll even pick a flower and stick it in the ground somewhere else so it looks like my figure has come upon it naturally. Ha!

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