Autumn Landscape Opportunities by Ashley Hockenberry
Without a doubt, the best time for landscape shooting is in the fall. Why? Because otherwise mundane and boring scenes explode with eye-catching colours, hues, and tones. Fields, forests and farms we drove past and never gave a second thought all of the sudden catch the eye. Even people who seem to have little appreciation for nature are driving hours to see the leaves change. Truly good fall landscape shots are breathtaking.
1.) Go for a drive.
Driving through naturally forested areas in the fall will pay big dividends for photo opportunities, especially areas which also have streams, lakes or rivers. There is something magic about how light plays on the leaves at this time of year. The more ground you cover the more you will see possibilities for images you can create. You will find yourself pulling over time and again. The interesting thing is that some of the places you least expected to produce a good shot will draw you in for a closer look.
2.) Bring a wide angle lens.
Perhaps the biggest mistake made by aspiring photographers is to bring the wrongs lens with them into the field. I typically try to bring a wide angle and also a couple of lenses which can shoot at other focal lengths, but the key is to be able to capture all of what you are trying to shoot. Snapshot photographers can shoot the most magnificent scenery in the world and come back with very forgettable images. The trick is to show enough expanse and depth of field that you give the viewer of the image the sense that they can almost step into the photograph.
3.) Isolate subjects with colour: Meadows, mountains, hills, forests and fields all have possibilities at this time of year. There are striking examples of bright reds, oranges, and yellows if we look for them. The most appealing colour to the human eye is red. The objective is to try to isolate an area we can frame as a subject which will feature that colour we choose. Colours are strong in that they elicit an emotional response from us. Even an individual tree can serve as a legitimate and captivating subject if captured properly.
4.) Reflections. Waterfalls, lakes, rivers and streams can serve as excellent backdrops for autumn landscape shooting. Try to position yourself in such a way as to be able to capture both the subject and the reflection in the water, along with the colours and you have a very powerful combination. These are some of the most sought after images for calendars, wall paper and posters.
The trick is to get out and take advantage of the opportunities nature provides in Autumn when the time comes - and it only comes once a year!