The New Forest is a fantastic location for landscape photography. Nestled in the heart of Hampshire, the New Forest is a haven for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike. With its diverse landscapes, from ancient woodlands to heathlands and coastline, this national park offers a treasure trove of opportunities for landscape photography. In this article, we will explore the ten best locations in the New Forest to capture stunning images, along with the ideal times to visit and lens recommendations for each spot.
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Landscape photography locations in the New Forest
Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary:
Best Time: Early morning or late afternoon
Advice: Bolderwood is renowned for its resident deer population. To capture these majestic creatures in their natural habitat, bring a telephoto lens (200mm or longer) to maintain a safe distance and avoid disturbing the animals. Also, explore the nearby woodland and streams to photograph enchanting forest scenes.
Best Time: Autumn for vibrant foliage
Advice: During autumn, the arboretum comes alive with a kaleidoscope of colors. A wide-angle lens (around 24-35mm) is ideal for capturing the expansive vistas and the interplay of hues. Pay attention to reflections in the water and play with different angles to add depth to your photographs.
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Hurst Castle Spit:
Best Time: Sunset or sunrise for dramatic light
Advice: Accessible via a pleasant walk from Keyhaven, Hurst Castle Spit offers captivating views of the Solent and the castle ruins. A wide-angle lens will allow you to include both the castle and the scenic coastline in your shots. Long exposure techniques can be used to create dreamy seascapes during low tide.
Best Time: Golden hour
Advice: As one of the largest bodies of water in the New Forest, Hatchet Pond provides opportunities for photographing serene reflections of the surrounding woodland and sky. A versatile lens such as a standard zoom (e.g., 24-70mm) will help you capture the changing landscape effortlessly.
Sunset Advice: Lepe Beach boasts picturesque views across the Solent, making it an ideal spot for sunset photography. Utilize a wide-angle lens to capture the dramatic skies and silhouettes of people on the beach. Consider using a tripod to ensure sharpness in your long exposure shots.
Rhinefield Ornamental Drive:
Best Time: Spring for blooming rhododendrons
Advice: The Rhinefield Ornamental Drive is a magical location when the rhododendrons bloom during spring. A macro lens will be indispensable for capturing intricate details of these colorful flowers. Additionally, a wide aperture will help to isolate the blooms from the background, creating stunning bokeh.
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Best Time: Early morning or late afternoon
Advice: This ancient woodland offers a magical atmosphere with its dense tree canopies and wildflowers. A prime lens with a wide aperture (e.g., 50mm f/1.8) will allow you to play with depth of field and capture the enchanting woodland floor up close.
Best Time: Sunrise
Advice: Janesmoor Pond is at its most tranquil during sunrise, offering stunning reflections of the surrounding heathland and trees. A circular polarizer can be beneficial to reduce glare and enhance colors in your images, while a telephoto lens can be used to isolate interesting details from afar.
Best Time: Anytime for quaint village charm
Advice: For charming village scenes and rustic architecture, Brockenhurst is a delightful location to explore. A standard zoom lens will be suitable for capturing both wide-angle shots of the village and close-ups of intricate details.
Best Time: High tide
Advice: The Beaulieu River winds through picturesque landscapes and is best explored during high tide. A wide-angle lens will allow you to include the river and its surroundings, capturing the peaceful ambiance of this stunning location.
The New Forest in Hampshire is a paradise for landscape photographers, offering a diverse range of locations to suit every style and preference. From ancient woodlands and heathlands to captivating coastal scenes, each spot presents unique opportunities for stunning landscape photography. By considering the best times to visit each location and selecting appropriate lenses, you can maximize your chances of capturing breathtaking images that showcase the natural beauty of this enchanting national park. So grab your camera gear, immerse yourself in nature, and let your creativity flourish in the New Forest’s abundant photo opportunities. Happy shooting!