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!
Thank you so much for this inspirational article – it spurred to me go outside and capture the Autumn golden hour in my local park (results are here photos.google.com/share…lSZXBFeXln with my new Lumix GX8.
Well done Will! Nice colours :)
Great contribution and very nice photographs!
It’s nice to see how Autumn unfolds in different places of the world.
The picture with your girlfriend is a great shot!
Thanks for sharing
Greetings from Belgium
Thank you very much Christian! :)
(P.S. She’s not my girlfriend, just a friend who’s a girl! :P)
Ah ok! :-)
Well nevertheless great picture!
I wish I could go out there and capture the autumn colors. Unfortunately I’m living in a country with sunshine throughout the year. But thanks for the inspiration, if I had to opportunity to visit another country during autumn at least I know what to look for.
Thanks Remi. If there’s sunshine you could still go out and use the light! :)
I liked the photos and the article. Thanks for inspiring me.
Thank you Don B :)
I especially like #1 with the trees framing the water and the boathouse. Well done.
Here in northern Arizona we get an extended fall color season that starts in the mountains then works its way down into the desert. A typical season will start in late September as the aspen on the mountains change color — switching to the maple and oaks in the middle-elevation canyons — and ending with the cottonwoods along the rivers in November. Lots of opportunities to shoot different trees in vastly different environments.
The mountain aspen: www.dblanchard.net/blog/…sco-peaks/
Thank you David B :)
All of your images are excellent, as usual. I particularly like 1,3,5 and 8. This last weekend, I made a special trip to Door County, Wisconsin in search of the fall colors, hoping to come away with an SD card filled with great shots. Considering all of the inclement weather, I am somewhat satisfied.
Not all of us who visit PL look for reviews of cameras and other gear. I know that I don’t. Your apology is kind of an unnecessary jab. There are plenty of other sites and reviewers with great credentials that do that job. I know that you use an Olympus E-M5. I use a Nikon Df, an Olympus E-M1 and a Panasonic GX8, so I wouldn’t expect you to review the latest and greatest gear, nor would it persuade me to buy or sell any equipment. I greatly enjoy looking at your magnificent photographs as well as those of Thomas Stir and some of the others.
Thanks for the feedback. My apology was tongue in cheek (see my comment 1.1) so don’t take it personally. I’m way too happy in my life to make jabs at others. Glad you got lots of shots :)
Reminds me of my recent trip to Switzerland, similar fall colours, we had to do a lot of shooting through window glass as European trips are mostly spent travelling. My d5100 had problems with its shutter release in anything but manual mode. As I was shooting manual, I could not get many shots through window glass. But it was a good experience experimenting with shutter speed, aperture and iso. Great photos sharif.
I remember wanting to take lots of photos from the Swiss trains, the scenery was so beautiful. Stuck my head out of the door window too.
Keep experimenting Muhammad!
Many thanks :)
Very lovely!!! Thank you!!!
Thank you Lois! :)
Inspiring for sure! And if it’s not easy to get out, bring it inside. Right now I have a pile of leaves and acorns at the end of the kitchen counter waiting for my macro lens. Great article!
Thank you Helene! Indoor macro sounds like a great idea :)
Love the autumn foliage reflected in the water! Nice post :)
Thanks Suzette. ;)