This week I’d like to introduce you to a remedy for the upcoming winter blues, warm fall photography. Let’s start with a few things you’ll need. First and foremost, capturing fall colours means going outside and being out there for a while so dress warmly. Dig out your comfy sweaters, light gloves, a hat or toque, and long underwear (the latter is optional). On top of everything else grab your camera, ‘cuz we’re going shooting.
The best location for fall photography will be the nearest Deciduous Forest. A deciduous forest produces the kind of leafy trees and shrubs that shed their leaves in the winter. Before shedding their leaves, the plants natural preservation system kicks in and sucks the nutrients from the leaves as food for the winter. Naturally you’d think anything robbed of its life giving nutrients would leave a dilapidated shell, but this is Mother Nature’s magic at its best. Those left over shells (leaves) are left with warm hues of reds, oranges, and yellows that engulf the forest. It’s a photographer’s wonderland, whether you want to photograph a huge colourful vista or focus on a single leaf, it’s all fair game. Trust me, with all that colour your photographs will shine.
I’ve heard a lot of contradicting views about what time of day and the best light conditions for fall photography. To me it’s preferential; fall days are mostly overcast which will give your photograph a soft even light (a positive), although high winds on dark days will leave you with blurred foliage (a negative). If you find yourself out shooting in this type of weather, try shooting within the undergrowth of the forest where you have cover from the wind. Use your camera to shoot close ups of leaves with some dew or water droplets on them. Get to know your macro settings and you’ll be surprised how much beauty the miniature world holds.
On days with direct sunlight, a slight breeze can be tolerated without negative effects. In weather like this, I find shooting the huge landscapes and vistas is a better option. The Sun’s light reflects off of the plant’s colors, intensifying the yellows, and saturating the oranges and reds. One element that works in this instance is water. Find a lake or river that you can shoot across from. I prefer still water, so that color reflection is at its maximum. However a slight ripple can add a new dimension to the photo. Shooting across moving water is also an option; a river with some whitewater gives great contrast to the peaceful trees.
The more you get out and shoot, the quicker you’ll discover your personal preferences and things that work for you will become more apparent. In the world of photography there aren’t a whole lot of rules, only guidelines. Test out different ways of photographing and you’ll find your niche. There isn’t a time when you shouldn’t be out photographing, only more ideal times and places. So remember, there’s always a way to express yourself through your images.
Until next time I wish you well,