The main advantage of living around trees, parks and woodland areas, is that you don’t have to travel far to capture the autumn colours. Most of the woodland locations are easily accessed by public footpaths. Local parks provide plenty of opportunities for close-up nature photography.
The colours at the beginning of autumn can be disappointing, it is advisable to wait till they are rich and vibrant, which is usually at the end of October till end of November. However, keep an eye on your surroundings and keep your gear and equipment ready to capture the best lighting.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when taking autumn photographs:
SLR: To photograph Landscapes, set the camera on Aperture Mode at f11 or f16, the camera will adjust the shutter speed accordingly. For Close-up Nature photography, use an aperture of f4 or f5.6. The use of a tripod is recommended as exposures will be long.
Compact Camera: Set the camera on Landscape Mode. For close-ups use mode. These modes are also available on SLRs.
I took the below photograph using my compact camera. The photograph has been changed to sepia using an editing software. Many compact cameras have an inbuilt facility which allows you to change the tone of your image. (This can be found in the menu settings of your camera). I always take two photographs of the same scene, one in colour and other in b/w or sepia.
Trees make dominant focal points and create the finest displays, use ‘rule of third’ to frame the scene. (You can read further on the ‘rule of third’ on my blog – link noted below).
Catch the light:
The warm light at early morning or evening is perfect to capture some stunning autumn photographs, so get up early to photograph the ‘Golden Light’.
Instead of just photographing wider landscapes, create a much stronger composition by moving closer to the subject. Focus all the attention on a single subject, such as dew drops on leaves, spider webs, leaves, berries, long shadows, etc.
Take photographs at a local park or the woodlands.
Photograph horses in a field or wildlife in your garden. Feed the birds - putting food and water out will encourage birds in your garden so you don’t have to travel far to photograph the wildlife.
Photograph the autumn mist:
|Man in the mist|
To capture mist, it is necessary to get up at dawn before sunrise or wait till it is just about to set. Rivers, lakes and open fields are the most likely locations to have mist. Exposures can be tricky, set the exposure at +1 stop to prevent the mist or fog being recorded as dull murky grey.
Here is a small list of locations where you can take autumn photographs:
Woodland walks near you.
New Forest - for both autumn colours and wildlife
Kew Gardens – autumn colours
Wakehurst Place – autumn colours
Westonbrit Arboretum (Tetbury, Gloucester, GL8 8QS) – autumn colours
Richmond Park (not far from Kew Gardens) – autumn colours and wildlife (herds of deer)