Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Autumn Leaves

It's a beautiful autumn outside and it's hard not to wear your camera around your neck. Wonderful colors draw my attention from everywhere and the soft afternoon light makes this season the perfect time for outdoor photography (more on outdoor portraiture click here). Usually I go outside shooting female portraits but I also like mounting my 50mm prime for shooting dry leaves and all the beauty around without models and special setups.
Here's my advice on taking wonderful leaf photos in the autumn:
  • Mount a wide aperture lens for the sake of shooting with a shallow depth of field and a higher shutter speed (it gets windy and you could be experiencing poorer light conditions)
  • Make sure you have the proper white balance set on your camera. This will make the colors look realistic and the tones will be friendlier to the eye. The rest you can do in any image-editing software.
  • Figure out a way to create contrast and what's in focus will pop out. I use 2 ways to do that. The first one, I try to have some sky in the photo which gives me a real color contrast between the blue sky and the warm colors of the leaves. The second, I look for a depth in the background that really makes the object pop and nail the attention.
  • When you shoot try and follow the rule of the thirds. This will give more air in the photo and more emphasis on the object.
  • Light is generally softer so don't restrain yourselves to shooting only in the late afternoon when you'll have a very small window of opportunity for taking many shots.
  • If you do not like how things are in front of the camera go ahead and rearrange the leaves or whatever to make it look the way you think is cooler.
  • Watch your exposure. The light coming through the branches and leaves could be deceiving so check your settings and results before and after every shot.
Got questions? Use the form below to post comments and I'll be more than happy to respond or extend the article.
For more info on shooting flowers and taking wonderful nature shots click here.
Now go and get those lenses dug deep in the autumn leaves. Who knows, a photo like this could be a contest winner.

All the best,

Kamen Kunchev