Fall is the perfect season for photography thanks to its unique color cast. These tips will help you take amazing shots in the fall.
Fall is one of the most picturesque seasons, and many photographers eagerly await its arrival. The colors can completely transform how landscapes look, and the lighting is often softer than during the summer. And, of course, getting out and enjoying those crisp mornings is not the worst thing in the world.
You can point your camera at almost anything autumnal, and it’ll look pretty. But if you want to capture amazing shots that stand out, you’ll need to think a little harder about what you shoot. Here are our top tips for taking beautiful pictures during the fall.
1. Emphasize the Fall Colors
Fall is arguably the most unique season of the year thanks to the beautiful colors it produces. Depending on where you live, you might be able to enjoy forests and the countryside transformed with a tint of orange.
As a photographer, you should do your best to emphasize these colors. You can, for example, learn about color theory to help you capture more eye-catching shots. And during the post-production phase, you can use editing software to draw the viewer’s attention to these.
2. Prepare for All Weather Conditions
Although fall is one of the most beautiful seasons, it’s also one of the least predictable. Sun can quickly turn to rain, and—if you live really far north—you might need to prepare for unexpected snow.
Getting caught in weather you hadn’t predicted is, at best, an inconvenience that might ruin your shoot and your day. At worst, you could find yourself in danger. Before going out to shoot, think about everything you might need. Weather-sealed camera bodies and lenses are a good starting point.
As for yourself, consider taking a waterproof jacket. Layer up to keep yourself warm if you’re going into the mountains. You should also let others know your itinerary.
3. Focus More on Nature
Cityscapes are fun to photograph, but fall is a great time to try out landscape photography. Even places frequented by tourists can look completely different, and you’ll often have to deal with much fewer crowds than you would during the summer.
Forests and parks make for excellent photography locations during the fall. But beyond the slowly-shriveling plant life, you might also want to think about capturing images of wildlife. Many birds begin to migrate when the weather gets colder, for example. If you’re lucky enough to see them, you might get to capture an amazing show in the sky.
4. Get Up Early
Fall mornings are more pleasurable than most other seasons. The air temperature is normally cool, and you can capture beautiful sights like fog covering cityscapes. Even if you’re not usually an early riser, try waking up earlier.
If you live in a busy city, waking up earlier will also help you avoid most of the crowds when going out to shoot. One benefit of the fall months is that sunrise often happens a bit later, meaning you don’t need to get up unreasonably early.
5. Use Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority Mode
Once you’ve moved beyond the beginner photography phase, you probably won’t use auto mode much. If you typically use manual mode, you might want to think about switching things up a little during the fall months.
Aperture priority mode and shutter priority mode are incredibly useful features, and most digital cameras have both. When using either of these, you won’t need to worry about toggling your settings—enabling you to focus on capturing the perfect shot instead.
Remember that when you use either, you’ll still need to consider the other two components of the exposure triangle. Make sure that everything is as balanced as possible.
6. Toggle Your Camera Profile Simulations
When you first bought your camera, you probably used the default factory settings for your images. However, most modern devices give you incredible flexibility. Toggling your camera profiles is a good idea if you want to capture unique pictures of the fall where you live.
You’ve got several options when choosing film simulations. Many manufacturers have a wide selection of color profiles, but you’ll also find various monochromatic ones.
Many camera profile simulations will automatically apply to JPEG file images, but you’ll need to add them in your editing software for RAW ones.
7. Visit Somewhere New
Except for warmer weather, summer often isn’t an ideal time to travel. Accommodation and transportation prices are high, and airports are often busy. And once you get to wherever you’re traveling, you’ll usually need to deal with bigger crowds than you might have wanted.
Some people can’t travel outside the summer months, but if you have the option to do so, visiting somewhere new in the fall can give you a fresh bout of creative inspiration.
You can travel abroad, but you don’t have to. Is there a national park in your state that you’ve always wanted to visit? If so, figure out the logistics and head on over there with your camera.
8. Play Around With the Foliage
Few sounds are more satisfying than the crunching of fallen leaves as you walk on them. But have you ever stopped to think that you can utilize them in several interesting ways for your photography?
You’ve probably seen portrait shots of people picking up a batch of leaves and throwing them. If you’re into that style of photography, try it for yourself and see what you can create.
But even if you’ve got nobody to photograph, you can still have lots of fun with foliage. For example, you can try macro photography and capture a leaf’s details close-up.
Fall Is One of the Best Seasons for Photography
While the days aren’t as warm as the summer, and you’ll often have to deal with challenging weather, fall is a fantastic time for photography. You’ve got plenty of options to capture unique shots, even when visiting somewhere that has been photographed many times before.
You’ll need to think a little about logistics, and in some instances, waking up earlier is necessary for photographing unique moments. But if you’re willing to experiment, you can capture images that others wouldn’t have thought of.