Sincere apologies that this isn’t a gear review or announcement; undoubtedly one of those will be along shortly. In fact, in keeping with most of my articles, this probably won’t educate or inform you. But I’m hoping it will do something far more important than that. I’m hoping it will encourage you to take leave of your daily toil and do some actual photography.
Autumn is my favourite season. The days may be shorter and colder but the colours more than compensate. It isn’t just about capturing scenic sprawling landscapes awash with a kaleidoscope of hues. We’re not all going to stand atop a mountain and take in a view. Fortunately, autumn can be captured and revealed in the small details too.
Individual fallen leaves caught in branches or resting on stones are just as much a sign of autumn as anything else.
And upon those leaves may be an entire landscape, from the dendritic patterns of its veins to the water droplets caught on a spider’s web.
I do believe in that old saying that amateurs worry about gear, professionals worry about money and masters worry about light. Well, none of those describe me but lighting is what I think about most. Whether it is filtering through a canopy above or backlighting some leaves, good light can bring autumnal colours and nature to life.
Where there is water there is life and during the autumn that water usually has colour reflected in it. I’m a sucker for reflections so I’d always encourage you to seek out bodies of water around foliage. Shoot the water surface alone and find an impressionist texture with a seasonal colour palette. Or wait for waterfowl or waders to ripple the scene.
I see a lot of people out shooting amongst the trees and shrubbery but they often forget to look up. Your ceiling is a beautiful canopy of colours and light.
All the shots you see here were taken yesterday morning and almost all with just one lens (did I ever mention I like to challenge myself?), the Olympus 40-150mm F/2.8 with the MC-14 teleconverter attached (112mm – 420mm FF equivalent). Not only can a long focal length bring you into the isolated details, but it can also draw you in and place you right inside the sea of colours.
The wide angle images were shot with the Nikon D600 and the Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8 attached. I’m personally not overly fussed about wide-angle lenses (or big DSLRs!), and I had given that combination to my accompanying friend (she’s the figure in the shot below) to play with, but I found it was useful for capturing the canopy of foliage above us or for drawing the eye down to the subject.
Well, the autumn is drawing to a close soon, the trees will be denuded of their leaves and then winter will come along and suck the life out of everything. So before that happens don’t waste too much time reading this filler article; get out there and fall into some autumnal colour!