With the colourful leaves and cooler weather, fall can be an amazing time to get some great photographs. Just like with any other season, there are some ways that you can make sure your photos turn out the absolute best they can. Keep reading for some tips for getting the best fall photos possible!
1. Use Indirect Light
When trying to capture fall foliage, bright and sunny days can put you at a disadvantage. The bright sun will increase contrast and brightness of the colours. Instead, look for full or partial shade to capture the colours better.
In the fall, shooting on overcast or rainy days can emphasize the earth tones and bring even more depth to the colour of the trees and leaves.
2. Don’t Neglect Your Composition
When photographing fall foliage, the colours are often what you want to emphasize in the photo. However, this does not mean that you should let the colours do all the work in the image. If you do not properly compose your photo, even with the most beautifully coloured foliage, your image will fall flat. Just like photographing a colourful sky, if there is no distinct feature or interesting pattern, the image just won’t have the impact you want it to!
Try to capture interesting shapes, lines, and patterns within the fall colours and make sure you identify a subject. As you shoot, also keep the rule of thirds in mind to keep your image dynamic.
3. Focus On More Than Just Leaves
Although colourful leaves are representative of the changing seasons, there are many more things that represent fall to feature in your photos! Things like apples, pumpkins, haystacks, and corn are all fall symbols as well and will represent the season beautifully. Try focusing on some of these things in your photoshoots, and just use the fall leaves as a background, rather than the entire focus on the shoot.
4. Use a Polarizer for Richer Colours
For fall foliage and landscapes, a polarizing filter can be amazing for getting richer colours. When you are photographing foliage, you may notice that the light bounces all over the place, especially after a rainfall. When you add a polarizing filter, these reflections will be significantly reduced and the real, rich colours in the scene will be brought out.
Polarizing filters are also great for sunset and sunrise shots. At these times of day, there is often atmospheric haze. The polarizing filter works to reduce the haze and deepen the colours in the scene.
5. Use Backlighting to Your Advantage
Backlighting is a strategy that many photographers love to use. In the fall, though, this technique becomes even more beautiful. You will still get the typical, dreamy flare effect, but the yellows in the leaves give an amazing illuminated experience. Simply place your subjects in front of the sunlight, and then either block the sun with your subjects, or simply keep the sun out of the frame in order to achieve the backlit effect.
Practice with your lenses and see how they react to backlit subjects as different lenses will flare in different ways, and sometimes the smallest movement can make or break an image.
6. Play with Different Exposures
Different exposures will capture the colours in different ways, and experimenting with different exposure can create beautiful results. If you slightly overexpose your image, the colours will appear brighter and slightly washed out, while if the image is slightly underexposed, the colours will appear deeper.
Try taking different exposures of the same image and comparing them later to see which one you like best. Different scenes and different subjects may not all look best with the same exposure. As you experiment you may get results that were even better than you hoped for!
The colours and photo opportunities in fall are amazing, and it is important to know how to capture them best! Take these tips and get out there and start taking photos. The fall colours won’t last long, so you’d better get started soon!