Autumn Photography Tips

 

carr_mill_dam_reflection_st_helens

Photoshopped reflection from Carr Mill Dam, St Helens

Autumn is an amazing time of year for photographers. The changing colours, the crisp air, misty mornings, rain fall and long sunsets and sun rises all give some amazing and beautiful photo opportunity’s to capture.

But don’t wait around too long to get your camera out though. Once those lush green summer leaves start to change into the warm autumn yellows, oranges and reds, they will soon be all brown and falling off the trees to leave them bare for winter.

  • Depending where you live, the best autumn colours will only be around for a month or so and peak through October. This all depends on the weather at the time but generally October and into November is best.
  • To really bring out the colours of autumn go for early morning or late afternoon when the sun is low.
  • When the sun is low in the sky it has a warmer light that will help bring out the warmth in the colours of the leaves. You don’t need to wait for sunset, just nice and low will do it.
  • The low position of the sun also gives great long shadows to add mood, depth and texture to landscapes, macro, abstract, wildlife and even portrait shots.
Once your back home and have uploaded your images, don’t be too disappointed if the colours don’t just jump out at you.
Although the colours looked alive and vibrant when you took them, they will probably look a bit flat until you get them into your photo editing suite .
This is the same shot as above before I put it into Photoshop elements:

  • First I cropped it
  • Then Copy / Paste / Flip the trees
  • Twisted and skewed the new layer to align the trees
  • Adjusted the contrast
  • Boosted the colour with the saturation
  • Added in the mist with the airbrush
  • Sharpened the image
  • Cropped it again
  • Finally a bit of burning to the edges
Done.
As much as I wanted to get a real reflection the weather just wasn’t right…. so I just fudged it!
Once you get a good foundation shot, well exposed, and reasonably clear you can work wonders in photoshop ( or other edditing programs) to get the desired result.