I love fall. I love the temperature. I love the fact that the sun rises and sets at a reasonable time. I love the changing of the leaves and the cool morning air. I also thankfully live in a country that also doesn’t know what a pumpkin spice latte is either!
With that being said, What’s the plan for this year? It is almost halloween and I have yet to head out and get those signature dead leaf shots. Well truth be told, peak season doesn’t hit my part of South Korea until this weekend. So I will be gearing up tomorrow for some adventures. Here is a basic idea of what I am going for this year.
The Standard Shots
One of the things that I learned while I was shooting sports was that you need to nail the standard or “safety shots” first before getting too wild with your creativity. That basically means that you should get those “typical shots” out of the way first before venturing into a style of shot that may or may not work.
These are typically shots that everyone knows or expects to see. Boring, yes but necessary. For me I use these shots to get warmed up. They get my head in the game a little bit. So start of with the snapshots of the falling leaves on the ground before moving on to the technically more difficult shots. At least you will leave with some shots that you can share on your card.
If you know my work then you know that I don’t shy away from colour. I love it and it is what attracts me to this time of the year. The colours seem to pop in fall regardless of the weather.
When I am shooting fall colours, I am looking for ways to boosts the contrast or show how enveloping they are. Meaning that this is a time of year when the trees are bright yellow and red and the ground is also covered with bright yellow and red leaves. I am looking to find ways to express that in my photography this year a little better than I have in years gone by.
Colour is a great way to show fall as it is a very recognizable colour scheme. If your view sucks then focus on those colours and get closer to your subject. Used patterns and light to emphasise the colours as well.
Injecting a bit of creativity into your fall portfolio is almost needed these day. By now your social feeds are probably inundated with bright colour shots of waterfalls and forest paths. While these images are great, you may want to consider changing things up and possibly experimenting with some new ideas.
I love thinking about new ways to photograph something as timeless as autumn. Cinemagraphs are a great way to add a bit of movement into a still frame.
This is a fun idea as we all associate the falling of leaves as a vital part of the autumn experience. creating an image with an infinite loop of falling leaves is a great way for people to experience the fall beauty.
You can also hone in on the smaller details. I have a 50mm F1.4 that I don’t use all that often. However, it is great for details when shooting wide open to blur out the rest of the surrounding image.
Another idea is to add motion blur to your images. As the trees are blowing in the wind, you can set your aperture to F22 for a longer exposure and see what happens. This works best on a windy day where there is a lot of movement in the trees.
The bottomline here is that you can start with the typical shots and work your way into some truly creative stuff. You just have to step back and experiment. Remember, you are not a journalist covering the falling of the leaves for a major news outlet. You are a photographer with a flare for creativity.