Travel Landscape - Autumn

Each season has its unique characteristics but autumn provides the photographer with a range of colors that lend themselves immediately to composition. Of all the seasons it is the one that lasts the shortest. Just when a tree is at its peak a strong gust of wind can blow off most of its leaves leaving it stark and bare. For autumn photography, even without wind a tree will take a little over two weeks to shed its leaves so it is important to seize the opportunity quickly for photographing these tremendous colors. As well as photographing large swathes of broad leafed trees try to look for spots of isolated color to provide contrast. These might be provided by a lone tree set in a landscape or a single leaf blown onto the ground.


Experiment by being aware of situations from different angles. Looking up towards a blue sky can make a wonderful backdrop to golden leaves, while the use of a wide angle lens in a forest can, from a low viewpoint, make trees appear to soar skyward.


Photographing autumn leaves

  • Try to place leaves together an examine the contrasts in their color, shapes and sizes.
     

  • Consider what the leaves might look like backlit.
     

  • When photographing leaves in close up so that the detail of the veins as well as the color becomes a vital part of the image, extension rings or bellows will probably be necessary.
     

  • When backlighting leaves or photographing from very close up, the leaf must be kept still. Some sort of windbreak may be needed; alternatively a modest lighting set up can be erected indoors and the leaves arranged there. Whichever method is used, always watch out for large uninteresting shadows; these may not be very noticeable at first, but once photographed in close up a small area may look ugly if one leaf casts a long shadow onto another.

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