Tips for capturing captivating videos of trees?

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    • #37631

      Hi everyone,

      I am an amateur working on a short film about hemlock trees. A major problem I’m facing is that my subjects are predominantly non-moving and it is huge challenge to shoot captivating video. I’ve thought about including certain shots, such as flowing streams, insects and birds to liven it up. I could also zoom in on dew on leaves, mist circling the trees or branches swaying when the wind blows. I also had an idea about shooting silhouettes and shadows, but it is rather difficult to do so in the forest.
      I’m looking for some advice on the kind of frame composition, camera movement (like pans, tilts, zooms) and lighting (lenses, time of day etc) that will improve my cinematography. Perhaps someone could also point me to an example of a successful arboreal video? Thank you for your help.

    • #166830

      One of the more successful ways of showing individual specimens is to rig some way of showing the tree from top to bottom (or vice-versa), but would normally be done with a large jib. You can recreate the effect cheaply by rigging a pulley system on an adjacent tree, but it needs a bit of thought depending on exact circumstances.

      And don’t forget to find old as well as prime examples when doing your cose shots, as the difference in bark patterns can make an effective cross-fade. HIH

    • #166831

      Going out on a wet morning would bring out colors nicely. Also, maybe during some fog might be a nice effect.

      As an amateur I know budget is an issue but aerials are wonderful – Maybe you could find some stock footage for not too much (there are less expensive sources like or

      In a pinch, you could always find a royalty free still photo and do a Ken Burns effect (Pan/Zoom) with it.

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