How to Take Great Autumn Photos

October 15, 2010 | Mark Goldstein | Photography Techniques | Comment |

Autumn's scents, colors and coolness are replacing the heat and humidity of summer, and it's a great opportunity for photographers of all skill levels to get out and capture shots of the changing season. Because the timeframe is so short, you will want to use proper shooting techniques to take full advantage of the season. Here are a few starting points to increase the quality of your photos during autumn.

Experiment with the aperture

Since the colors of the changing leaves are so vivid, it's important to accentuate them in different ways. By experimenting with the aperture setting on your camera, you can change the focus of the scenery. A lower f-stop (which is actually the higher number) will put the entire depth of field into focus, while a higher f-stop (lower number) will enable the camera to focus on the subject in the foreground and blur out the rest or vice versa. By choosing to raise your f-stop, your photo will focus on an individual leaf or tree and will create a unique perspective that draws the eye to the intended subject.

How to Take Great Autumn Photos

Keep it your subject out of the center

Sometimes not placing your subject in the center of the frame can also amplify an image. When shooting outdoors, get creative and use the "rule of thirds" to create different looking images that might draw more attention to the surrounding environment. What is the rule of thirds? This is when you put your subject 33 percent off center of your image; not too close to the edge, but also not right in the middle. Instead of drawing attention to the center of your shot, make your viewer scan the through the image and look at the complete scene.

How to Take Great Autumn Photos

Don't be afraid of contrast

Finding contrast in your shot will also highlight the beautiful colors in your photo. Look for orange leaves on green grass or red trees against a blue sky for eye-catching images. This may require moving around to find the optimal angles to incorporate different colors in your image, and sometimes shooting straight down at the leaves or bringing the camera down to ground level will create a unique perspective.  Good photographers always look all around them when they take photos. You may be surprised by what you can capture above, below and all around you.

If flowing water is in your shot, slow down your shutter speed to create a fuzzy effect with the constantly moving fluid. The leaves and wildlife may have sharp, crisp edges, but the water will look like its moving and add softness to the photo.

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