IN THE FIELD: Autumn Colors

In the part of the world where I live, Autumn is just starting to show itself, providing many opportunities for capturing this dynamic season. I even bring my camera with me when out running errands. It may take longer to get my errands finished, but I often come home with some terrific images. Proves the point you donโ€™t always have to travel to some far away place.

I like to shoot at different times of the day. Sometimes I will shoot scenes that are backlit by the morning sun, or I may turn around to put the sun at my back and photograph the scene bathed in the cool morning light. Often times I will shoot later in the day to capture the warmer light of a scene.

When a brilliant blue sky is not present, I will isolate a portion of a scene to eliminate a dull gray sky in a large portion of my image. Of course you could use a computer program to add blue sky if you wanted to, but I tend not to do that. Recomposing the shot in the field is a lot easier and less time-consuming.

If fog or a light misty rain is present, I find the colors may be more subdued and delicate suggesting a painterly effect. Colors can also be more saturated at times like this.

I know Iโ€™ve said this before, but a tripod, cable release (or self-timer) and polarizing filter are essential items to have with you. The tripod will give the camera stability and force you to take more time with your composition. The cable release (or self timer) will help to eliminate camera movement during longer exposures, especially when using lower ISO settings and small f-stops. And the polarizing filter will help remove unwanted reflections and intensify colors.

Sometimes I will use a wide angle or normal lens to encompass the whole scene. Without changing the position of the tripod, I switch to a zoom or telephoto lens to isolate parts of the scene. Foreground and background areas of the scene become compressed for another dramatic image.

I also tend to change my position after taking a few photos because there is always more than one way of seeing things. A different vantage point could make an image truly remarkable.

Oh yeah…I always make sure to have plenty of room on my data cards… I need it.

  1. September 28, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Cool! Taking notes here. DANG! I keep forgetting I have a polarizing filter in my kit and have not put it on. Shame on me. Do you leave the polarizing lens on all the time or what?

    • September 29, 2011 at 9:07 am

      Keep forgetting?? Shame shame shame…I forget sometimes myself. We are human ya know…Once you start using it you will never forget you have it. I only put the filter on when I feel the need. It cuts down on the light entering the lens by 1-2 stops or so. Since I shoot at the lowest ISO I can, 100-200 normally, I like to have as much light available to me as I can.

  2. tedgriffith
    September 28, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    All wonderful tips, especially the polarizer! Fall pictures are made for using that if nothing else. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • September 29, 2011 at 9:09 am

      Thanks Ted, yur darn tootin!! Especially if you are in the woods shooting streams or waterfalls and trees that are changing colors.

  3. September 29, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Wonderful dear David, in here I can’t see yet the autumn touches , especially trees like yours… But I will remember your words, I am excited for my autumn. Thank you, with my love, nia

    • October 1, 2011 at 10:58 am

      You are welcome…enjoy the show!!

  4. September 30, 2011 at 3:49 am

    It’s rather strange watching you welcome your autumn as the leaves are just starting to bud here ๐Ÿ™‚ Lovely colour!

    • October 1, 2011 at 11:00 am

      Yeah I bet it is strange. Although it is hard for me picturing giraffes eating in the back yard…it must be way cool!!

  5. September 30, 2011 at 6:27 am
    As always great post dear David. You have been in my list again ๐Ÿ™‚ You can see my latest post for the details to your next mission. Thank you, Blessing and Happiness, with my love, nia

    • October 1, 2011 at 11:00 am

      Hmmm next mission?? I will look into that!!

  6. September 30, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Wonderful post and good tips ๐Ÿ™‚ Love the photo! Have been searching thorugh ebay a bit, and will definitely by some more gadgets soon!

  7. October 1, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Thanks Anne, isn’t shopping for new toys and gadgets fun??

  8. October 5, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Back to the Ansel Adams quote I always carry with me. I think I even posted it in a comment on an earlier post of yours. It’s so true, and so fitting EVERY time I’m out with my camera. It makes me stop, take a deep breath and line up the shot; look for details, look at where the light is. It makes me ask myself: how much light is there? Do I need to move closer, or further away? How would the emotion of the moment be best captured?

    “A good photograph is knowing where to stand.” -Ansel Adams

  9. October 5, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    So true…you will like my next post then for sure!

  10. October 6, 2011 at 7:11 am

    I just love fall. I am heading up to New England in a few weeks for a race and make no mistake….the camera will be with me ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. October 6, 2011 at 8:37 am

    The best of luck in your race and I am envious of your travels to New England…it’s been a while since we have been up there.

  12. Littleskew
    October 13, 2011 at 6:15 am

    I love the autumn colours in this image. Thank you for sharing, it’s beautiful

    • October 14, 2011 at 10:18 am

      It sure was a good year when I took this photo. I hope this fall is as vibrant…we are getting close. Stay tuned!

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