5 Tips for Better Autumn Photography

Autumn is a beautiful time of year, and most photographers love to get out and capture the season’s gorgeous light and colors. However, with shortened days and erratic weather it can be a bit challenging to photograph in the fall. To help you get you out and shooting, Gareth from Park Cameras runs through five tips to improve your autumn photography:

1. Vary Your Shots

Autumn being a season of change, the weather conditions can vary drastically. One day it’s warm and sunny, and the next it might get foggy and cold. And before you know it, it can turn back to cloudy and moody. With so many different weather conditions, you have the opportunity to shoot a wide variety of images within a small window of time.

misty autumn environment

You can also vary the way you compose your shots. Either go wide and capture the colorful and misty environment or isolate a leaf by shooting from a closer range. You can even shoot high to show the sun breaking through the trees, or shoot a dramatic low shot if there is some mist or fog on the ground.

2. Add Human Interest

Adding human interest to show the interaction of living beings with nature is a great way to make a photo more interesting. While it’s not always necessary, it can do wonders to uplift a boring image. Try having someone play with the autumn leaves,or walk down a path with colorful trees in the background.

model in autumn forest

3. Scout Out Your Location

Location scouting is something that you can do anytime when you’re traveling. If you happen to come across a tree that’s changing colors, you can have a look around the location and get a sense of lighting in that area. Then revisit the location when the lighting is best.

location scout for autumn photography

4. Check Sunset Times

Golden hour is a great time to shoot during any time of the year. But it gets even more special during autumn. Soft light helps in accentuating the varying colors of the leaves. Even the sky pulls out dramatic colors during autumn, making it a dream come true for photographers.

autumn sunset

However, as the sun starts setting earlier in autumn, be aware of the sunset timing. This will help you to be at the location a bit earlier and plan out the shot. Also, keep in mind that the area where the sun sets in summer starts to change in autumn. You need to be aware of the sunset location if you really want to nail your sunset shot.

And when it comes to sunrise, it happens at a more “reasonable” time. While the sun rises super early during summer, it waits until a more doable time in autumn so you can sleep in a little and still get great shots.

5. Adjust HSL

HSL stands for Hue Saturation Luminance. This tip is more concerned with editing colors, and HSL can make a huge difference in this regard. For instance, if you have a photo of a tree with brown leaves and you want to make it look more golden, you can tweak the hue adjustment. If you haven’t tried it yet, try using the HSL adjustments a bit and see for yourself how it can bring out the colors in your photos.

without hsl

with hsl

I hope these tips will be of help if you’re planning to explore the beauty of autumn with photography.

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One response to “5 Tips for Better Autumn Photography”

  1. DONALD HOGUE says:

    The season is important. In our latitude (42 degrees) the winter sun angle at noon is the same as 6:00 pm in the summer. This means that spectacular low-angle shots golden hour-like shots are doable at high noon in the winter – with sweater and gloves.

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