Woodland must be one of the most challenging environments for landscape photography.
For every satisfactory woodland shot that I've taken, there are dozens of rejects. I find this particularly frustrating because I'm often asked to undertake surveys of woodland and I like to illustrate my reports with photos.
There are two major sources of problems in woodland photography: exposure and composition.
On a sunny day it's difficult to select an exposure setting that doesn't leave you with either massive areas of dense shadow or burnt out patches of sunlight. I tend to under-expose, then adjust the shadows later. I often find that I get better results in overcast conditions, but I may need to put the camera on a tripod so I can use a long exposure.
Composition is tricky because, by its very nature, woodland tends to be cluttered. It's no coincidence that beech woods feature more often in professional landscape shots than other types of woodland. Beech trees cast dense shade that suppresses the growth of plants at ground level, creating a relatively 'clutter-free' environment.
To overcome the distractions of woodland clutter, I often try to pick a vista where the wood has been opened up - by a stream or a path - or where a fallen tree, a boulder or a carpet of wildflowers focuses the attention.
Colour temperature can be also problematic. I find that if I use my E500's 'automatic' setting, my woodland pictures have a bluish cast. I tend to use the 'cloudy' or 'shade' settings instead. I need to experiment with RAW processing to see if I can get a more natural looking result.
I'm gradually getting better at photographing woodland but there's still plenty of scope for improvement. I'd be interested to hear about other people's experiences in this challenging area.