4 Tips for Fall Photography

In many US areas, this is the time of year to capture the beauty of autumn and all its colors, textures, and details. I hope you can get out to shoot this season, even if it’s just in your neighborhood or nearby park—these four tips can be used anywhere to bring out the best of fall. 

The four tips we will cover are complementary color, reflection, texture/small details, and intimate landscapes.

Complementary Color is a critical component in fall photography. It is an opportunity to highlight the best of the season. There are so many colors during fall, rich oranges, golds, greens, and reds. I like to focus on complementary colors, like blue and orange or yellow and purple or red and green. Use these colors to set the stage for your image when post-processing, bring out the saturation in both colors or use color grading in Lightroom to enhance the color tones. If the fall season does not give you a bright clear blue sky, you can adjust the hue or temperature sliders to bring out more blue, or as a last resort, you could always replace the sky in Photoshop or another application. 

Fall landscapes and fall photo tips

Reflections are so beautiful to capture, and the tones and colors of fall make for a great image. Look for reflections at local ponds, water features, lakes, etc… The light of the season will help bring out the reflections in the water. Even taking a walk after a rainy day, you can find water spots with fall trees and color reflections. The reflections can be part of your image or make them the subject. 

Fall is a great time to focus on the small details and textures around you. Look for and highlight the textures that you see. Think about grasses, plants that have faded from summer, leaves, tree bark, mushrooms. Look for old, weathered objects that you can add to your scene. The textures found during the season can be the highlight of your image. Using contrast when editing will help bring out the best details of the texture. Also, raising the clarity slider a little will enhance the textures in the image.  Take time to find the small objects around you. Spot leaves full of water drops, late-blooming plants, acorns, or berries. Adjust your camera settings to focus and capture the beauty of these small objects.  Try shooting with a wide-open aperture to reduce the background and bring attention to these small details. Capturing the sights of fall with an abstract look adds interest and intrigue. 

The intimate landscape is a style of photography. It is the space between a close-up image and a grand landscape. It requires you to explore your surroundings and look for stories in nature to photograph. I like to use my 70-400 lens ( any telephoto will work) for capturing these scenes; it forces me to look beyond the immense landscape and find those more miniature detailed scenes. Fall is a great time to practice and try images with this style. Look for something interesting; highlight the textures or colors around you. 

Enjoy the short season of fall and explore some new techniques or ideas as you photograph. For some fall editing tips, check out this post. 

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