Capturing stunning autumn scenery photos might seem difficult, yet it’s actually pretty simple – once you know a few basic tricks.
Being an experienced fall landscape photographer, I’ve spent plenty of time in search of those elusive fall photos. I’ve made lots of errors, but I’ve also had a lot of success, and in this short article, I aim to show you how it’s done.
Specifically, I’m going to share 8 practical tips for creating stunning fall
- The right lens choice to emphasize patterns in foliage
- The best fall landscape configurations for gorgeous results
- My favorite type of fall landscape light
- Much more!
So if you’re ready to go out into the field and start taking some jaw-dropping shots of your, give this article a go through; I guarantee it’ll become worth your while.
1 . Use a zoom lens with a long focal size
Autumn leaves, trees, and jungles look so beautiful that it’s often tempting in order to whip out that wide-angle lens and capture the entire scene.
But while a wide-angle lens can work for fall photography, it is often better to go in the alternative direction and shoot with a longer focal length. The 70-200mm f/4 lens is advisable, though you can also shoot with a 100-400mm lens, or even among those monster 150-600mm options.
You see, a longer zoom lens can really help simplify the picture and make the shot regarding more than just the colors. A lengthy focal length lets you highlight patterns in the leaves, plus it compresses the scene to produce a beautiful wall of trees and shrubs.
You may also use the longer focal size to highlight intimate information on a
2 . Make use of a wide aperture to isolate the subject
Frequently , photographers shoot autumn landscape photography at narrow apertures , like f/8 and beyond. So when you’re capturing images full of sweeping foregrounds and elaborate patterns, a narrow aperture makes sense (for instance, the image featured in the next tip, using the river in the foreground and leaves in the background, was shot at a narrow aperture).
However , you may also create unique fall pictures with a wide aperture. Established your lens to f/2. 8 or f/5. 6, then get in close and isolate your subject from the surroundings. You can get a shot like this:
Here, the foreground tree trunk is sharp, while the background becomes an attractive, slightly colorful blur.
Ultimately, a wide aperture creates visual contrast between sharp subject and the soft, abstract background. This also adds tension between the real as well as the unreal, providing you with an image that is more dynamic and significant.
While you can always shoot lone trees against colorful simply leaves, try experimenting with different topics and backgrounds. Get innovative with your choices. Pay close attention to your subject, and make sure you have sufficient depth of field to maintain its key features sharp; it often pays to check the LCD preview after you’ve taken a shot just to be sure.
3. Make fall color the secondary subject
Fall colors are great, so it could be tempting to make them the primary subject of your photograph. In other words, you’ll probably make the image all about the drop colors: their beautiful colors, the texture of the simply leaves, the pattern of the trees and shrubs.
But to make your photos a lot more unique, look for other main subjects, such as streams and waterfalls , that are accented by the drop colors. This will also provide your fall landscape pictures more depth and complexity, plus it can really draw in the particular viewer, as the eye sweeps from the beautiful foreground to the stunning fall backdrop:
So before you decide to take a shot, ask yourself: Exactly what could I highlight other than the fall colors? How is there a chance i combine the fall colours with a foreground subject to get a great result?
By the way, this is one time when a wide-angle lens may be the better choice in fall landscape shooting. The broader field of view enables you to capture an interesting foreground and a beautiful backdrop (but ensure you’re using a narrow depth of field, otherwise you will lose the colorful details in the trees! ).
4. Look for styles and textures
Fall color photos tend to start with, well, color . It’s what generally attracts you to the scene in the first place, after all.
However , the best fall landscape pictures merely use color as being a jumping away point .
In other words, they include color, but the color doesn’t carry the image. Instead, the structure relies on color plus designs and textures to hold the viewer’s interest.
Many fall scenes do have plenty of interesting patterns plus textures to work with, so shifting beyond color isn’t specifically difficult. Simply find several reds, yellows, and oranges that you like – then consider other compositional elements you are able to incorporate into the shot.
For the photo below, I used a combination of yellow color, forest floor consistency, and tree repetition to make an eye-catching result:
5. Have patience
A decent digital camera and a telephoto lens is ideal for fall photography, but patience is the best tool in your digital camera bag.
Specifically, the autumn landscape professional photographer must learn to wait for 2 things:
- Great color
- Great light
Right now, I don’t mean to suggest that you stay inside till autumn colors hit their peak. You can capture wonderful shots at the beginning of the color alter by focusing on lone yellows among a sea of green, and you can capture dramatic pictures at the end of the colour change by emphasizing the moody browns and the final of the colorful leaves.
But make sure you spend careful attention to the changing simply leaves. Try checking a local foliage predictor. And then, when the fall color peak really arrives, make sure you spend plenty of time outdoors capturing the autumn attractiveness.
And as for your light…
While fall colors are wonderful, they could be even more stunning when combined with right light. For instance, a small patch of sunlight on a mountain peak, or dappled light hitting a sea of yellow trees, is often the between a good image along with a great image. Unfortunately, the sunshine rarely does what you want specifically when you want, so if you look for a beautiful composition, be ready in order to hunker down and await the perfect light.
Pro tip: The best light is often short lived, so consider your settings and
By the way, while beautiful sunlight plus dramatic clouds frequently works great for fall photos, if you’re focusing more on the colors and less at the wider landscape, I recommend moving out on gray, overcast days. The sky will act as a huge softbox, and you’ll get beautifully saturated shades (plus a wonderfully moody, gloomy feeling! ).
6. Experiment with intentional camera movement
Intentional camera motion (ICM) entails deliberately moving your digital camera during a long exposure to create abstract effects like this:
And thanks to the beautiful colors, fall is a superb time to try it out.
First, find some nice colors and trees. If possible, ensure there’s contrast between your tree trunks and the autumn leaves (note the white trees and orange leaves in the photo above).
Finally, focus on the leaves, then move your camera as you release the shutter!
Note that intentional camera movement is very strike and miss, so don’t be discouraged if your first shots don’t turn out as great as you hoped. Definitely test out moving your camera in various directions (I recommend straight movement, but you can try horizontally or even diagonal). Also, test out different shutter speeds and the pace of moving your own camera until you find the right amount of blur.
7. Look for elements that comparison with the fall color
Fall colors are usually bright and have textures and patterns. To really take your pictures to the next level, find good colors – but make sure to contrast them with darker components. That way, you can create spectacular tension.
Look into the image displayed below. I found some nice, bright, well-lit trees, but I photo them against a dark, shadowy rock face:
And it’s that contrast, that drama , that elevates the shot.
Of course , dark stones aren’t the only contrasting component you can use in your photos. You can sun/shade contrast (where your subject is lit by sun but the background is in shade), you can contrast drop colors with dark drinking water, or you can contrast bright drop colors with darker, browning fall colors (the opportunities are endless! ).
8. Don’t forget to appear up
The interior of a forest can be an incredible place to shoot the fall colors, but it’s often difficult to find a pleasing composition. Occasionally, you just can’t isolate person elements and you can’t discover interesting patterns. You might be ready to throw in the towel, but I’d suggest you try something else:
Look up and explore the canopy.
This works best upon sunny days; images that contrast the fall colours with the deep blue skies can be really pleasing.
You generally want to keep the trees and shrubs sharp from foreground to background, so don’t forget to utilize smaller apertures like f/22. Also, a narrow aperture will create a starburst effect if you shoot through the woodland toward the sun.
Fall landscape photography suggestions: final words
Hopefully, these tips will help you take full advantage of your time photographing the amazing colours of the fall season.
In fact , if you found these autumn landscape photography tips helpful, print out the article and take it with you into the field; that way, you can slow down, think through your compositions, and return home with some compelling photographs.
Now over to you:
Do you have any kind of fall landscape photography suggestions to share? Which of these ideas was your favorite? Share your ideas – and photos! – in the comments below.