Autumn Photography – Autumn Landscapes
You can’t really enjoy autumn photography unless you get outdoors. So, the first tip is to get exploring. Try paying attention to places you see on the way to work and see how they change as the days go by. Look out for woods and forests for large bands of mixed colours as the leaves turn. Try going for a walk somewhere new. Get a feel for how autumn changes the landscape up high in the trees and also down on the ground. In some woods you will see lots of ferns/bracken that will add colour to the woodland floor along with the fallen leaves. As winter approaches, the angle of the sun in the sky changes, so you might find that places look different with the sun lower in the sky. Look out for sunlight streaming through the trees. A narrow aperture (f/11, for example) can often allow you to make the sun appear star shaped. Sometimes, if there is a little mist in the air you might be able to pick out rays of sunlight.
White balance – a secret of warm-looking Autumn Photography
One simple thing that can enhance your autumn photography is clever use of white balance. We all know that autumn colours are reds, oranges, browns and yellows, so how can you bring these colours out more clearly? Yes, you can adjust the saturation on various colours afterwards. But, one simple trick is to use a cloudy white balance. This works very well when the sun is a little lower in the sky. You can end up with a really warm glow to the image. Do play around with it in post-production as you may find it too intense or even that you want to make the effect stronger. You might be surprised how much difference such a small change to your camera settings can make!
Autumn plant life & fungi
We think of autumn as being a time when many plants are beginning to die back ready for winter. They make begin to look bare, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t interesting or that there aren’t other opportunities around. Why not try shooting silhouettes of the shapes of bare trees, for example? Create patterns using stumps and shadows. When the sun is low in the sky, you may find it highlights remaining leaves, giving them an almost translucent quality. Also, look out for fungi. There are many different types of fungi growing in the UK. Many of these can be found lurking underneath bracken on the floor of our woodland. Tread carefully and gently lift aside fern leaves and you may be surprised what you can find. Fungi make good subjects for macro photography, but you can also create an interesting sense of perspective by photographing them from the ground using a wide-angle lens.
© Joe Lenton, October 2015