It is 2019 and I am very new to photographing in woodland, and the first thing I learned was this: compositions are not easy to see.
I really didn't expect to walk into my first wood with intentions of coming away with quality the likes of what other, more experienced woodland photographers were showing, and I wasn't really surprised that my first pre-dawn adventure into local woodland had me laughing to myself as I walked around looking at a mess of trees and undergrowth without a composition in sight.
Below is a collection of notes I've started putting together for myself to guide me in this adventure. There are not too many at this time as I'm still only just beginning to know what I need to make notes of, but please feel free to browse them.
Have purpose.
The first time you visit a new area you won't really know what is there, or what you're going to photograph when you are there. It's a good idea to visit before your planned photo trip and scout the location for potential images you'd like to make. I find a trip during the day, when the light is not necessarily at its best is a good time to get a little familiar with the place. I will do this alone, usually on days off during the week, but it's also a good to get some quality time in with a partner or friend. An internet photo search is also helpful, especially if the location is far from home or part of a photo trip.
At the time of your shoot you can set up for the shot you have in mind. As the light and conditions change, you can adapt your composition and other ideas to it, but if you turn up not knowing where to start, you'll probably find yourself chassing around and being frustrated. If you get there and the light just doesn't turn up or play as you had hoped, then that's nature photography. Enjoy the time you're there and plan to come back another day.