Tips for taking Photos in the Autumn/Fall

Autumn’s Here

The days are getting shorter; the leaves are changing colour and will soon fall, ‘daddy long-legs’ bumping against the windows and spiders in the bath. This can only mean one thing: Autumn’s here.

So just think of all those lovely photographs you’ll be able to take: trees with russet, red and yellow leaves; the early morning sun shining through the mist and fog, and winter migrants about to arrive on our lakes and shores.There is a wealth of things to photograph at this time of the year.

© A Webber

Autumn colours

I think that nothing beats a beach tree for Autumn colour, and if you can find many together in a beach woods you can get some fantastic Autumn pictures.

Last October I went to Wandlebury park near Cambridge to get some Autumn pictures of a beach wood; I had this vision of the sun streaming through and russet leaves onto a dappled leaf strewn floor, but instead, the weather was dull and drizzly with an overcast sky, but I still managed to get one or two decent pictures.

That’s the problem with photographing outside; you can’t always rely on the weather, well, not here in the UK, but even when the weather isn’t good, there’s always something worth photographing; you just have to look a bit harder.

Image by Erika Sievert

What to photograph?

Try looking for reflections in water such as lakes, ponds or rivers, or long shadows cast by the lower Autumn sun; but don’t just look at the bigger picture; theres a wealth of other things to photograph, such as a spiders web covered in dew; or a close up of a leaf; things that epitomizes Autumn.

Early riser

When taking pictures in the Autumn, it’s worth getting up early; yes,it might be a bit chilly at that time of the morning, but, it’s worth it just to capture images when the sun is about to rise; a time that a lot of us don’t normally see. One good thing about the days shortening is that the dawn gets a little later each day, so, we don’t have to get up quite so early to capture a nice dawn shot.

© A Webber

Aperture

I normally use aperture priority mode when I’m photographing; if I want everything near and far in sharp focus then I just set a my camera to a high f/stop (small aperture) and the camera will choose the correct speed, if I want to isolate my subject by having the foreground and background out of focus, such as a single hanging leaf or a dew covered cobweb, then I use a low f/stop number.

Equipment

So what equipment do you need? well, a tripod is a must if you want to get a blur free image; professionals and serious amateurs always use one, even in bright sunlight.

Use a cable release if your camera supports one; even better if you have a remote cable release, then you won’t need to touch the camera when taking the picture. It’s a good idea to make sure your camera battery is fully charged, and also, you have a spare one; the colder days can reduce the battery’s life.

Some use (and swear by) a polarizing filter; particularly good for making the sky a deeper blue, cutting through the haze and mist, and accentuating the clouds, although, if you want to get a shot of mist over water, such as a lake or pond or the atmosphere of the morning sun shining through the fog then best leave the polarizing filter off.

Some More Autumn / Fall scenes

Image by gt8073a

Image by Thomas@BOD

Image by Michael Whyte

‘Acorns’ by Kaloer

‘Pumpkins’ by gt8073a

‘Urban Autumn’ by dicktay2000

‘Mushroom’ by Jos Dielis

‘Fall of Forest’ by penttja


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