Photographing The Colors Of Autumn

Written by stuestler on October 30th, 2009
One of the blessings of living in temperate climates is the change of seasons, and in particular the great palate of color nature provides in the fall. While the exact time, intensity and colors depend on where you are, the prevailing vegetation and usually on the weather for the preceding spring and summer, autumn is typically a great photo opportunity.

Fall Colors on the C&O Canal

Fall Colors on the C&O Canal

Here in the Mid-Atlantic October to early November is showtime, and every year brings something to delight the eye. This year we had a dry end to the summer, which muted some of the colors a bit compared to last year, but there is still plenty to shoot. An added attraction is that many people plan their landscaping with ornamental plants that are green and lush during summer, and then burst into colors in the fall.

It’s common when faced with the overwhelming displays of changing color everywhere to try to capture it all. Sometimes that works, but sometimes you wind up with a photo that encompasses so much it lacks a true point of focus. Also, we can sometimes be so absorbed in the show nature is putting on that we forget about distractions that lead the eye away from the intended subject. Our brain can ignore them when we’re there in person looking at things, but as always, the photo sees all.

One solution is to narrow down our frame and concentrate on smaller slice of the visual pie. Even very close-up and macro shots may capture the feelings of the scene as well or better than an overall vista.

C&O Canal, Potomac, Maryland

C&O Canal, Potomac, Maryland

The fall colors aren’t the only thing going on now. It’s harvest time, and even if you live in the city, take the time to get out and explore the rural fields and farm stands. And don’t forget people! The autumn makes a great time to get photos of your friends and family or anyone out enjoying nature’s bounty.

So take the time to experiment with different subjects, different viewpoints and don’t forget to get up close and personal with nature at this time of year. Soon enough we’ll be shooting those winter scenes!

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