Autumn Photography: Tips For Photographing The Colors Of Autumn

Many landscape photographers adore shooting during the autumn season, also known as fall. This beautiful season is ideal for taking a range of fantastic photos that contain unique autumnal colors, such as red, orange, and brown.

Autumn Photography: Tips For Photographing The Colors Of Autumn

In particular, you can see these incredible colors through autumnal foliage. However, it can be challenging to capture the true vibrancy of the autumn season.

This is partially due to the moody weather that is typical during autumn, which can cause these colors to appear duller. To help you perfectly capture the autumn season (see also “What To Photograph In Winter?“), follow these simple tips: 

1. Emphasize Landscape Photography

Landscape photography is the practice of documenting natural features, such as rivers or the land. These photos are designed to capture the beauty of the outdoors. When you go for a walk through woodland or forest in the fall, you might want to snap a picture.

This is because autumn landscapes will look very different from landscapes during other times of the year. Autumn offers a unique range of hues that are often not seen.

This photography may also help you to better respect the natural world and identify its overwhelming beauty.

2. Wait For The Golden Hour

Timing is key in photography. Most photographers will wait for what is known as the golden hour, also referred to as the magic hour. This concept highlights the perfect lighting conditions for photographers.

This period is after sunrise and just before sunset. As a consequence, the daylight will appear softer, thus creating less harsh images.

The golden hour will be especially desirable for fall photography. The vibrantly colored leaves will be even more magical during the golden hour.

3. Focus On Autumnal Colors

The autumn season is known for the vibrant colors that appear in its foliage, such as orange, red, and yellow. Leaves will typically develop these colors during fall due to a lack of sunlight. These colors are the perfect opportunity to take some eye-catching outside photos.

To make these colors stand out, you might want to focus on complementary colors. Colors that are found on opposite sides of the color wheel are known as complementary colors, which can add a nice element of contrast to the image.

To make red and orange leaves pop in the picture, you may want to photograph them against the blue sky. Alternatively, a sky tinted with purple hues will be the perfect opportunity to get yellow and golden leaves into the image.

4. Bring The Correct Lenses

One of the best lenses that you can use for this form of photography is a telescopic lens. An advantage of using telephoto lenses is that they magnify the subject. As a result, it will appear bigger in the frame. This is an ideal way of emphasizing a focal point.

When using a telephoto lens, it is recommended that you utilize a tripod to stabilize the photo. Wide-angle lenses are also popular among landscape photographers.

These lenses will give you an impressive field of view. Consequently, you can capture wide autumnal scenes.

5. Search For Autumnal Creatures

If you aren’t keen on focusing on autumnal vegetation, your focal point could be an animal. These animals will look adorable against an autumnal backdrop. Some of the most popular fall animals include squirrels, hedgehogs, and owls.

When photographing a wild animal, respect is key. You should never bother the animal. Plus, we recommend that you keep your distance for safety reasons.

6. Fog Is Fantastic

You don’t need to have perfect weather for your autumnal photo shoots. Fog is a great way of adding an astonishing atmosphere to these seasonal images. If you see mist and fog when you’re outdoors, be sure to get your camera ready.

Fog is fabulous for these autumn photos because it will help to soften the image. Not to mention, the fog will allow you to emphasize the focal point of your photo.

To stabilize your camera, utilize a tripod for these autumn photos. You may need to experiment with a few different compositions when experimenting with the addition of mist.

7. Consider Using A Halloween Theme

Halloween is perhaps the most important holiday of the fall season. To evoke this season, you may want to incorporate the Halloween theme into your photos. For instance, you can take detailed photos of pumpkins.

You can also use a looser Halloween theme to inspire your autumn photography. For example, you can add Halloween lights into the image or focus on spooky-looking cobwebs.

The possibilities are nearly endless. Try to add seasonal foliage into the background of your Halloween to express the colors of autumn.

8. Experiment Artistic Approaches

Photography is an artistic process. As a result, you should never be afraid to experiment with different artistic techniques to get the best results.

Though the natural landscape is beautiful during autumn, taking pictures of the same landscapes can become a little cliched. Therefore, you should try to use a unique focal point to make your photos stand out.

Alternatively, you may want to use techniques that are not widely used in this kind of photography. Motion blur is an especially useful technique for fall photography.

By moving the camera in a particular way, you can create the illusion of movement in a photo. This will help the image look unique, energetic, and dynamic. Essentially, you should try different compositions and techniques so that you can find what works best for you.

9. Natural Framing Is Ideal

Framing is one of the key differences that will separate an amateur photographer from a professional. This technique involves placing focus on a particular part of the image by blocking off other sections.

For example, you may choose to focus on a particular plant through framing. In autumnal photography, natural framing will be extremely powerful. You can use autumnal plants and leaves to create some fabulous framing.

10. Try A Circular Polarizer

A circular polarizer is a handy tool used by professional photographers. If you want to take professional-level photos, we suggest using this piece of kit. This tool is a filter that can be attached to the lens of your camera.

This will allow you to have more control over the amount of glare produced, as it will filter the light. Moreover, this circular polarizer can increase contrast. A polarizer will be especially useful when taking pictures during the fall.

After all, glare is one of the biggest issues that you will have to deal with in the autumn sun. Not to mention, this sunlight can bounce off water, which could detract from the quality of your images. Luckily, circular polarizers are relatively inexpensive tools.

11. Include Water

Water is a fantastic addition to the majority of photographic compositions. Bodies of water, such as lakes and rivers, will reflect surfaces, allowing you to take some compelling shots. Moreover, you can use the motion of water, including waterfalls, for dynamic photos.

Rivers and lakes will reflect the gorgeous colors of autumn. You can also capture sensational shots of autumnal leaves as they glide across the water. Be sure to search for a source of water when taking autumn photos.

12. The Location Is Key

Last but not least, finding the perfect location will be essential for taking an extraordinary autumn photo. Forests are an ideal location for taking these photos.

When loaded with luscious vegetation and colorful leaves, these forests will help you to take some atmospheric images. Watching the autumn leaves cascading onto the forest floor will also be a good opportunity for photos.

When taking photos in a forest, be sure to avoid using the flash setting. Wide-angle and zoom lenses will be great for forest photography. Be careful with the lighting, as it can be harsh in these forest environments.

Likewise, woodlands are fabulous for photographing. Don’t be afraid to get stuck into the mud and get down low as this will allow you to take some unique shots. Namely, you could take photos of the vegetation.

Final Thoughts

If you have a passion for taking stunning nature photos, autumn is a great time to practice this hobby. By carefully considering your techniques and equipment, you can make the most of the amazing autumn foliage to take some phenomenal photos.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Best Settings For Autumn Photography?

It’s recommended that you adjust the white balance on your camera when taking photos during autumn. This will allow the colors of autumn to stand out against the background.

What Time Of Day Is Best For Autumn Photography?

Ideally, you should aim to take photos during the golden hour. However, if this is not possible, you should host your photography sessions early in the morning or during the evening.

During these times, the sunlight will be less harsh. Yet, you should still receive sufficient natural light.

What Things Are Associated With Autumn?

During your photography sessions, you might want to photograph some of the things that are most heavily associated with autumn, such as:

Colorful leaves
Autumnal colors, such as brown, purple, red, or orange

Laura McNeill
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