How to photograph Autumn leaves

It is that time of year again. The leaves are changing, autumn is here and summer is now but a mere memory.

However autumn is a season of natural wonders and one of those natural wonders is the changing of leaves. The vibrant colours of autumn; the reds, the yellows and the golden browns. Truly autumn is an amazing colourful time of year and in my opinion so much more exciting than the greens of summer.

Now, I am no professional photographer and neither am I that good in the art of photography being an amateur at the very best. However below, in this blog, are some of my tips, which I have discovered and learnt about,  for taking photos of leaves during the autumn season.

Two of my favourite times to take photos of autumn leaves is during an overcast day or during the so called Golden hour.

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On an overcast day the clouds diffuse the sunlight which produces a soft light. This softening of light surrounds the subject and results in a soft shadow, saturated colours and lots of details.

During the golden hour the sun is at a low angle not only does this create longer shadows but the light waves are more filtered and this allows the longer light wave of red to show through. This is why sunrise and sunset always have an orange / red glow. This gives a warm golden tint and is ideal for saturating colours.

If you are feeling confident or are a more advanced photographer it would be recommended that you take your camera off Auto White Balance (AWB) as this can soften the colours, and it is the colours we really want to highlight.

It is worth considering what colour the leaves are that you wish to photograph. Are they red, yellow, brown, etc.  Are you photographing on an overcast day or during the golden hour.

If you are photographing the leaves during the day then you may note a slight blue cast. Adjusting the white balance can help render the colours more accurately

Light during the golden hour is, well, more golden which is ideal in enhancing the colours of the autumn leaves. So use a white balance mode that enhances the warm tones. You can either set to cloudy or manually use Kelvin.

If you are photographing individual leaves or a just a few leaves hanging from a twig then it is best to avoid a busy background so not to distract the viewer from your subject. A simple back ground will help.  I personally like a nice bokeh.

Think about the leave or leaves you are photographing. The texture, size, colour, etc. Unlike flowers do not try to pick out the most perfect specimen as the imperfections  will add a nice element of interest to your subject.

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Unless you are trying to get an effect of leaves falling of the trees and blowing in the breeze, it is best to avoid windy days.  When the leaves are rustling in the wind, or breeze, this can make it very difficult to get a sharp capture.

I have attached three of my photos which are on Click-a-Snap. I am sure I will upload more over time as I improve.

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