It’s hard to not get excited when the weather turns cooler and the leaves start to change. Autumn may be my favorite season. The air is crisp and fresh and the leaves crunch underfoot. For a nature photographer, this means an exciting season of beautiful colors and lots of contrast. If you live in the city you may need to head out a bot to fully experience the beauty of autumn, but if you can’t, head to your local park and see what you can find. These are just a few things that I think about as I go out and try and capture the raw beauty that autumn has to offer.
- Use a Polarizing Filter
- Utilize Autumn Props
- Be Creative
The first and foremost key to getting stunning autumn photographs is finding a beautiful location. One that has displays of vibrant colored leaves and dramatic views. The internet is an invaluable resource in finding these locations. In addition, ask friends and family for those hidden gems. If you are traveling make sure to ask some locals for the best spot to catch those beautiful displays of color.
The best time to shoot autumn photography depends on the weather. If it's sunny then you want to shoot early morning or evening when the sun acts as side lighting. If you shoot during the day the light is too intense. Many people think that the best days to shoot are sunny days, however, during autumn, cloudy days are best. You can shoot the full day with a soft even light and because the vibrant colors are saturated colors and they contrast nicely with a grey sky.
Don’t be afraid of a little bad weather in fact it’s a perfect time to get out and shoot some autumn photography. Fog and mist are fantastic, they can mute the colors a bit but they create the perfect autumn mood and setting for your shot. Raindrops on leaves are another great example of a unique autumn shot that can really portray the autumn mood and vibe.
Having a waterfall, river, creek, or a lake in your shot can really become magical and add to the picture. The reflection of the vibrant fall colors on the water is a beautiful shot. Or a waterfall running through a bed of fallen leaves. The possibilities are endless so let your creativity run wild.
One of the best ways to step up all your mobile photography is to buy a tripod. Having a stable shot especially when you want to increase your exposure or your shutter speed is critical. Having one of these really allows you to be able to play around with your phone's settings and get the perfect autumn photograph. You can find a selection of tripods here.
Use a polarizing filter
The main purpose of such a filter is to reduce reflections. It is often that in photos with bright colors it can make the rest of the photo look muted, this is because those bright colors send reflections bouncing everywhere. That is why it is critical to use a filter in autumn photography. You can find one for your phone here.
As discussed, autumn is filled with vibrant colors which can be highlighted by creating contrast. For example, you can set your shot of colorful trees against the grey sky or a red leaf against green grass. Try to set up your environment while thinking about this so you can give yourself as many possible subjects utilizing different contrasts.
Autumn fruit and vegetables
Now I don’t usually recommend cliches but I will anyway because the cliches are beautiful. Try and incorporate fall fruits and vegetables. Go to a pumpkin patch or apple picking. Fruit stands with squash and autumn corn as well as other autumn vegetables are all over the place. Bales of hay and autumn flowers are blooming. These are all perfect icons of autumn.
You may be tempted to only chase those glorious autumn leaves and beautiful vistas alight with vibrant colors, but don’t forget the little details. Be it a fallen leaf in the dirt or an up-close shot of tree bark, or maybe even a fallen acorn. There is such autumn beauty available as long as you are willing to look.
As I usually try to end my articles, try not to forget to be creative. The nice part about digital technology allows us not to be stingy with our photography so get out there and explore, try new things and bend the rules a bit and see what happens. Try a new angle or hike somewhere far out and see what you can find. Lastly don’t forget to use your eyes and soak up all those autumn colors because before you know it, it will be winter.