Photography Tips: How To Photograph Outside in the Fall

There are plenty of  photography tips to offer when it comes to taking great outdoor photos during fall. The lighting is softer and the natural colors found are varied and plentiful. Whether you want to take landscape photography, or portraits, there are a few things that can benefit you during the autumn months.

What You'll Need

  • Camera
  • Circular Polarizing Filter
  • Flash (for fill light)

Step 1: Lighting

The position of the sun is farther away and angled during the fall months. This means it will take some getting used to the lighting conditions. The magic hour will be earlier in the morning, and earlier in the evening. Even though the time is extended, the lighting still may require some tweaking. Many photographers will choose to use a fill light method, by filtering a flash. This will bring out the rich colors. If you have never used a flash outdoors, it takes some time to get this right. Using too much light will wash out the photo. It's also important to consider shadows. Shadows are longer and deeper in fall than in spring or summer. This is another reason fill light can be used. The flash will reduce unflattering shadows.

Step 2: Filters

A circular polarizer filter is useful any time pictures are taken outdoors. This is especially true during the autumn months. This will help to filter out the harsh light from the sun, while enhancing colors. The filter can be used for landscape or portrait photography with great results.

Step 3: Lenses

Because of the natural variations in color during the fall months, many people like to use a wide angle lens. This will allow you to capture more of the color in a single shot by offering natural contrast in your photos. Consider laying on the ground while taking a photo of a maple tree against a blue sky. The results with the wide angle lens will be spectacular.

Step 4: Consider Composition

Composition is important for any type of photo, but beautiful autumn colors can be lost with poor composition. Remember the rule of thirds, and aim for interesting objects and subjects for the photos. You will be able to play around with angling more during autumn since you won't be contending with a harsh sun. This is the best time of the year to capture photos of clouds and birds in flight.

Step 5: Saturation

Photo editing software will allow you to adjust the saturation levels in your pictures. Since fall offers many bright colors, you can afford to add more saturation to these photos without taking away from the natural beauty. Play around with increasing the reds and oranges in a photo. This can make the natural elements pop without taking away from the image itself.

Step 6: Macro Photography

Autumn is also a great time to capture outdoor macro photography. Take advantage of the great lighting conditions to capture rain drops, spiders, or even the texture of fallen leaves and tree bark. For those photographers who enjoy the art of macro, fall can offer a splendid opportunity to capture contrasting colors and interesting textures.