Today’s adventure is to look at how to select awesome scenes in a location takes us to North Yorkshire, right inside the beautiful Cropton Forest, home of the beautiful holiday retreat that is Forest Holidays.

I’ve stayed here before on Holiday, but it is within an hours drive of home, so I figured why not shoot in the forest and make a video too!?

The last time Alfie was here he was 5 months old and the forest was covered in deep snow. It’s safe to say that 5 years on, the scene was slightly different! 

Check out the video to look at how we captured the photo’s later on in this blog post:

We started in the forest near to the main driveway where, on the way into the site, I’d spotted a huge log just waiting to be photographed. 

The log was close to other trees but there was an empty gap of space behind. That’s important to note – that means that I should be able to get good separation. As you will know from the video above, the light was an absolute nightmare for us despite the weather forecast saying a decent level of cloud would be on our side! 

I worked this up for a print comp and in doing so, flipping the image so it read left to right was kind of essential.


If at this point you’re like WOAH WHAT THE…!? with the editing – don’t panic, you can learn all the techniques in this post here.

Do you see how I kept close to the tree to my left and what that did was keep the bendy tree well out to the side of the image, essentially mirroring Alf’s back on the log itself?

After this little “Scene” we moved into the deep coniferous woodland to the other side of the path. Finding a line through the trees was essential and I chose one specific row of trees to use for this because the gap got lighter the further it went back. I positioned the dogs in the gap and made sure I held that line when I was shooting too.

that dog spot portfolio

The next step was to use a little stump I found on the other side of the track. This stump had a couple of trees close by and we used those to do a little shot of Alfredo. Again, always staying low, always finding gaps in the background and making sure the framing is spot on…

that dog spot portfolio

After that we continued to walk to find a new location. Things I was looking at included:

  • Lines and shapes in the location 
  • Objects to act as props or foreground interest
  • Floor covering and clear spaces
  • Light angles and specific displays of light in the scenery
  • “Busyness” of the background and foreground

We ended up taking a track down into another area which was really lovely. Across the stream, there was a track which caught my eye early on. 

It had really interesting roots crawling up the slope to an open but framed tree line behind. It made a great photo of Pippi! 

that dog spot portfolio

Returning to the lower section of this area, I found shapes and objects to work with which are detailed more heavily in the video than I can explain here. The photo’s however, ended up like this: 

that dog spot portfolio
that dog spot portfolio
that dog spot portfolio

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