heather new forest

New Forest Walk Hampshire

Originally from West Sussex and living near forest I have always wanted to go to the New Forest in Hampshire.  Living close by now in east Dorset now was my chance to explore the ancient and enchanting new Forest and take some memorable landscape photography.

New Forest Trails

Although mid August it was a cloudy day and I wanted to go hiking.  A cloudy day is always best for a Forest Walk with a camera as the clouds act as a giant diffusor of the sunlight.  Else forests can have too much contrast between the bright sky and dark forest interior.

Dont get lost – OS Maps online

I was using the AA’s guide to 50 walks in Hampshire, but their maps and directions often leave alot to be desired.  With all the criss crossing paths, its so easy to get lost in a forest.

To back up the directions and paper maps of the walk through the New Forest I was also using Ordnance survey maps online installed on my mobile phone and navigating with my GPS.

ordnance survey online mapsOnline maps

I cannot recommend Ordnance survey maps online enough.  If your a regular walker you need this app on your mobile.  It clearly shows all the paths through the forest.

ordnance survey maps online
os maps online

I can tell you now on this 10 mile walk following new forest trails I got asked more than once for directions.  I helped them navigate to where they wanted to be via my OS Maps online app on my mobile phone.  Always best to download the area you will be walking before leaving in case of any connection and streaming problems.

Ancient Woodland

Not long and I was inside deciduous ancient forest and it felt good.  Its impossible to be in a bad mood in such enchanting woodland.

new forest ancient woodland
Ancient woodland – 1 sec, F/11, ISO 100, 24mm

For landscape photography its best to use a polariser to cut out any reflections and you get better saturation of the deep green colors.  With the natural darkness inside the canopy of forest you will also need to use a tripod.

giant pines new forest
Giant pines – 3.2 secs, F/13, ISO 100, 20mm

Even amongst the giant pines it felt spectacular.  Your notice the long shutter speeds to get a correct exposure.  There are no end of landscape photos to take within the new forest.  Makes you want to go camping and get natural.

Wild Horses Wildlife Photography

Walking through the new Forest you will often come across wild horses and ponies which make a great focal point for your woodland photography.  I am not too experience photography wildlife.

wild horses new forest
wild horses 0.6 sec, F/11, ISO 100, 110 mm

As horses move you need a much faster shutter speed.  Many photographs I took of the horses and they were blurred.  Problem is its dark and you need depth of field in a forest to keep things in focus.  I recommend F/8 and bump up the ISO to 200 or more, maybe remove the polariser as well.  The photograph above looks sharp, but zoom in on the horses head and its blurred, what shutter speed do you need for a horses head munching the grass?  probably 1/30 sec maybe.

Heather and Heath land

There is also alot of heathland and heather within the New Forest.  The contrast of the heather with the forest makes for some interesting contrasts.

heather new forest
Heathland 1/13 sec, F/11, ISO 100, 18mm

I love blue skies, white fluffy clouds, makes the sky very interesting.  Great walk around the New Forest in Hamphire and some good landscape photography with a few lessons to learn.  I will return to the New Forest soon.