Quick Tips for Surreal Fall Photos
Study Your Light
The part that light plays in your landscape is always important – but this is only amplified during those colorful autumn months. Overcast lighting has the ability to saturate colors – combine this with a light coating of water from the morning dew, and you can have an incredible image.
Alternatively, the direct sunlight can add much texture and dimension to your autumn landscape – especially during the golden hours. If the angle is just right, you can get rim lighting around colored foliage, creating a warm and dramatic mood.
Use a Polarizer
Polarizers not only help cut out unwanted reflections, but they increase color saturation – a huge help during the foliage season.
While many photographers look for those incredible autumn vistas, you can also find a stunning autumn photo in a more confined area. Your local park can hold hundreds of simple compositions – especially when using a wide aperture to help minimize a busy background and make your subject stand out.
Slow Shutter Speed
Using an ND filter (or a smaller aperture) to slow down your shutter speed can be a surreal way to capture movement. Streams of water in a river, passing clouds, or wind blowing the fall foliage in a tree are all examples of where a slow shutter can create a work of art.
Perspective is Key
Traditional autumn photographs call for an eye-level perspective; this is where you can get creative. Lay on your stomach and use a wide aperture, or perhaps shoot down from a high angle.
Don’t forget to consider the distance between you and your subject as well. By moving closer or further away (and not just with your zoom), you can greatly change the perspective of an otherwise mundane image.
By spending a bit of time to plan your autumn shoot, you can create a stunning fall foliage portfolio. Work with your surroundings and make conscious decisions on how you want to set up your image vs. shooting from the hip – focal length, aperture, shutter speed, and perspective are some overlooked parts to photography that can make a huge difference to your final image.
For more inspiration, make sure to check out our collection of fall foliage photos :