Summer is over and the great part of the changing seasons is we can look forward to some great fall (autumn) season colors. Here are some tips to take some brilliant autumn leaves and scenery.
Take both Landscape and Detail shots
Fall photography can include anything from wide sweeping shots of the countryside, to close up shots of leaves.
The beautiful reds and golds of the leaves on the trees really help to enhance landscapes. Note the word 'enhance'. Autumn colors won't make a great landscape photograph on their own. You'll still need to compose your shot and take note of the lighting and mood. Fall colors will, however, make any landscape shot better. My rule is to ask myself "Would I take this landscape photo when all the leaves are green?". If the answer is no, I look for another angle to shoot from, or find another location.
Shoot just after Dawn or before Dusk. This is when the sun has a great 'magic light' with a warm tone that works spectacularly well with fall colors. The reds and golds are really brought out, and contrasts even more with the blue sky.
Cloudy days also work well. The lack of sun will intensify the colors. If shooting on a cloudy day, change your camera's white balance to the 'cloudy day' setting (or set a custom white balance if you can) to ensure the colors in the final photo match what you see.
Windy days add an extra aspect to your fall photos - leaves blowing in the breeze! If it's not windy, get a cohort to throw leaves into the shot.
A Polarizing filter can intensify the colors in your image. However, they don't work in all circumstances so hedge your bets and take photos with and without a polarizing filter. If you don't have one, use your paint program to increase the saturation a couple of steps.
If you have relatives or friends along with you, add them to the shot. It will create some context for the scene, and will look great in your photo albums.
Try different things
With all the leaves on the ground, get your camera down on the ground with them! You might find surprises like small animals!
Look for rivers or streams and rocks. Water and trees provide a fantastic setting. If you are near a lake, try using the reflection of the trees on the water as a great background to your subject.
Another idea is to get off the beaten track. Do some exploring to find places where tourists and others won't normally go.
Thanks to Marisa, gmajokor and BlackdoG for the use of their images.
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