How to capture the beauty of Autumn

Photography tips :

How to capture the Beauty of Autumn

October 2019

Autumn is treat for most photographers, with its misty mornings and rich colours.

The combination of glorious sunshine and a countryside ablaze with reds, oranges, yellows and browns means there’s no better time to go for a walk with your camera. 

So wrap up warm and get out among the elements! 

Here are 5 tips to capture the beauty of Autumn along with a few inspiring autumnal pictures brought to you by our photographers.

Timing is key.

The golden hours are sunrise and sunset, during these times, the sun is low on the horizon and filtered through atmospheric particles allowing warm light to pass through. Colors such as red and yellow become far richer when bathed in the warm glow of sunrise and sunset rays.

At this time the light is soft which add a magical illumination to everything.

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Path to Borrowdale - By Tim Ball 

"Final shot before the sun disappears for the day behind the Maiden Moor."

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First light, Rydal -  By Tim Ball

"A very hazy sun which soom rose into clouds, sadly. Gorgeaous warm light and reflections for a while, thought i was hoping for some mist..."

Early mornings at lakes and pounds will often be windless and a perfect time for photographing tree reflections, along streams and rivers, you may get early morning mist streaming off the water. 

Woodland and trees

A photographic walk through any woodland is a pure delight! 

Trees and woodlands are the most obvious subject to photograph during autumn. This time of year brings a dramatic change in the color of their leaves, with an explosion of red, yellow and orange giving you endless colourful photo opportunities with minimal effort.

But do not focus on trees only, compose your image with leading lines that draw the attention through the scene, look for fields, gates, streams and tracks…                              These will tell a story : Where does this path lead? 

The Autumn Esk - By Tim Ball

"The Autumn Esk looking downstream (...) Wonderful colours last Autumn"

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French Vineyards - By Anne Nosten 

The road is the leading line, bringing depth to the shot and the soft light and the sky contrast nicely with the vines 

Play with reflections

If you live in a busy city, look for the trees, explore your area to find the best ones for your photos!  

Tree-lined streets are great for symmetrical shots! Use the road or path as a leading line, drawing the eye into the image and creating a great sense of depth.

Change your perspective and look up! A tree full of colourful leaves and a blue sky are a great match for abstract photo. Take it a little bit further and add a foreground object or leading line into the mix. 

Head to a picturesque area of landscape where there are reservoirs or lakes or stay a little closer to home and take a walk through the park after the rain falls and use the puddles as reflective surfaces.

Landscape reflected in water can make some striking images! 

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Mid morning reflections - By Tim Ball 

Mesmerizing reflections of a still lake, bringing a perfect symmetry to the shot.

Set the scene

Calm water will split the image in half to create a perfect symmetry for a mirror-like reflection. 

Slightly choppy water with subtle ripples can potentially be flipped upside down to create a more abstract image.

Do not hesitate to leave the trees out of the image and just capture a close up of the water that’s reflecting some of those vibrant colours.

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Floating by - By Tim Ball

"Floating by unable to find inspiration for wide landscapes, i concentrated on the wonderful autumn reflections in the river"

Take the time to compose your image, walk around the scene before shooting, see it from different perspectives. Instead of shooting a lot of landscapes of colourful trees, choose a main subject and use the colours to enhance it. 

Do not focus solely on the leaves on the trees, when they are on the ground they can make for a very beautiful subject too.

Winter is coming! This fact is full of emotions that most people can relate to, making your photographs more engaging.

Use fallen leaves, acorns or any other object to set up seasonal pictures and play with the colours complementarities to create an emotional,moody and memorable photo.

Perfect time for close-up!

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Old bark - by Andy Shaw Collenette

unusual autumnal close up. wonderful texture work

Look down! At this time of the year the floor is a kaleidoscope of auburns, yellows and reds! Zoom into the individual leaves, full of veins and bursting with colour. Even the dry ones have a lovely texture that can make incredible shots. 

A good option is to go and collect the leaves to photograph them at home, especially if the weather is bad and windy. This can make it easier to get a good photograph as you ll have more control over the background and lighting.

Tic-Toc - By Ulrike Winchester

Interesting composition, mixing everyday  objects to nature components...reminding us of the time  passing by

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Direction with purpose - by Ulrike Winchester

fresh leaf with drops of water, the veins are softly accentuated  with light, which brings a great effect!

Autumn is also mushroom and fungi season, so kneel down and get close! Woodlands are the perfect place where weird and wonderful fungi of various shapes, size, colours and guise appear among leaves to decorate tree stumps and fallen branches. Be aware, fungi have the habit of growing low and in awkward positions so be prepared and carry some protective ground sheets or be ready to have some dirt on your jean’s.

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A red forest shroom - by Ulrike Winchester

Close up with lovely complimentary of colours and textures

Leaves and fungi are not the only worth a shot! Seasonal fruits and vegetables such as apples, berries, pumpkins, squash, chestnuts can be used to create interesting still life images ( and they can be shoot indoors, which is a plus if you are not a brisk walking fan). Look for pleasing arrangements of colour, shape and texture and use a soft diffused light for the best effect!

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No fuss snack - by Ulrike Winchester

If you are a fan of meal shot, do it with style! 

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Hedgehog - by Ulrike Winchester

Playing  textures also helps to tell a story.

The contrast of the spiky shell with the sofness of the conker inside.

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Cauliflower season - by Ulrike Winchester

Another way to shoot food! See the beautiful contrast of colours, bringing the attention to the subject.

''Winter is an etching ,

Spring is a watercolour,

Summer is an oil painting 

and autumn is a mosaic of them all.'' 

- Stanley Horowitz

Wendy Warner 

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