Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Five Tips For Photographing Fall Colors

Autumn is quickly approaching and I've notices some leaves turning yellow. Very soon will  be your opportunity to photograph fall colors.

You don't have to live in Boston to capture fall colors. In most places you can find some changing leaves if you look hard enough. Or you can always take a trip to where the colors are.

So here are five quick tips for photographing this colorful season.

#1 - Autumn Is Colorful, So Show The Color
Autumn Tree - Princeton, Texas
Don't be afraid to put the color right up front. Don't be afraid to turn up the color saturation. Make the viewer aware that the subject of the photograph is the color.

Since the subject is color, be bold and not timid. Make sure the color grabs the viewer. Be vibrant! Don't waste the opportunity by being subtle.

#2 - Use Color Contrasts

Three Trees In Autumn - Flagstaff, Arizona
Contrasting colors are those at or near the opposite ends of the color wheel. For example, red is opposite green and yellow is opposite blue. When placed together, colors that contrast will draw in the eyes (it is similar to light contrast, in fact).

Red leaves against green foliage and yellow leaves against a blue sky are great ways to use color contrast during autumn. Use this to draw the viewer to what you want them to see in the image.

#3 - Use Subject Contrast

Oak Trees And Snowy Mountain - Tehachapi, California
Fall colors are short lived and soon give way to the chill of winter. Depending on your location, there may be a time of transition where both are visible together. This subject contrast can allow for compelling images.

There is also a time where summer is giving away to autumn, and there are opportunities to photograph blossoming flowers and changing leaves together in the same photograph.   

#4 - Get Close

The Beauty Of Change - Tehachapi, California
Often when one thinks of fall color photographs, one thinks of large landscapes. But sometimes the best way to capture the scene is to show the fine details. Look for opportunities to photograph the colorful leaves up close.

Look for places that others have overlooked. For example, the above image was captured in the corner of a busy parking lot. People had stepped over or even on this without noticing the beauty.

#5 - Get Out There!
Property of Autumn - Tehachapi, California
You won't capture any autumn photographs if you are not outdoors with a camera. You have to go! You have to be in nature. You have to experience first before you can create any meaningful images.

So grab your camera and find the trees with changing colors. Look for vibrant colors. Use color contrasts. Discover subject contrast. Get up close. And don't forget to have photographic vision.
Beginning of Autumn - Tehachapi, California

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