Forest Woodward's photos are nothing short of soulful. They depict human moments that are simultaneously extraordinary and honest, and landscapes that can only be described as majestic.

His film, The Important Places, was named one of National Geographic’s “Best Adventure Films of 2015,” and his work was included in Outside magazine's “The Best Adventure Photography: Exposure 2015.”

Currently “homeless,” Woodward was staying in a flat overlooking Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, when he filled us in on how he got this shot from a trip to Joshua Tree, California.

how i got the shot Forest Woodward Joshua Tree

“Adventures, big and small, unfold the minute you leave the beaten track and forge your own trail into wilder reaches,” Woodward says. Photo: Courtesy of Forest Woodward

Name: Forest Woodward

Age: 29

Hometown: Franklin, North Carolina

Bio: Woodward grew up in the foothills at the edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

“We were homeschooled and our parents believed that the best education came through experience,” he said. “Many of those early formative experiences took place backpacking, rafting and bike touring in some of the most remote parts of the U.S.”

His first camera was a Canon AE1 at the age of 10. His dad taught him how to expose, develop and print his own photos. His favorite subject is people: “Humans, in all our diversity, are nothing short of fascinating.”

Who: Jacob Midgett

Where: Joshua Tree, California

Why: “We had been shooting that day for a campaign for Vasque footwear. The creative director and I decided to bring our climbing gear, and during a break in production, we scrambled up a quick, little single-pitch route to the top of this rock formation. I peered through this crevice and saw Jacob [exploring] a tunnel through the heart of the formation. The light was beautiful and I waited for him to pass under me and then snapped this frame. This was one of those happy accidents for sure!”

What the image was shot with: Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 35mm f1.4 lens

Magazine affiliation: Outside Online (originally short for Vasque)

Photographer's website:

And Instagram: @forestwoodward

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