Now that summer is gone, it’s time to put on sweaters, coats and that camera strap around your neck. Fall is the season when nature gives us a new palette of warm colors to experiment and play around with. Here are some tips for beginners on how to shoot great fall photos.
Look for Interesting Shapes Made With Leaves
When a leaf falls from a tree, it makes it’s own little journey. Perhaps the wind has picked up a bunch of them and placed them down in another location. The leaves sometimes create unique and interesting patterns to look at from the right angle and perspective. What may seem ordinary to one person on the ground may look much different to someone higher up in a tree or a tall building at work like an office tower. Whether you’re getting a bird’s eye view or even getting down low to the ground you’ll eventually find an interesting way to photograph leaves carried around by natural events.
For some additional help, think of the same concept as looking for shapes in clouds applied to the fallen leaves. After some time and releasing your inner child, you’ll begin to find that the two really are synonymous. This is best done in places where there are lots of trees and a generous amount of space for the leaves to gather. Immediately, a park comes to mind. If there are bodies of water around, pay attention to the reflections that the trees may project. In this case, meter for the shadows and fix the images in post production.
In order to really get your mind thinking about composition, use a prime lens (or a couple of them). Primes typically deliver the best image quality as well as force the photographer to be extra careful about how the photo is taken due to the restricted fixed focal length. When I use a prime, I find myself experimenting a lot more with how to get the image as opposed to when I have a zoom lens on my camera. To be fair, many of the better quality modern zoom lenses can hold their own with some primes.
For the best results: shoot wide. Get high, get low, but shoot wide. You’ll be able to get the most out of your images that way and will have less restrictions put on you that a telephoto lens will.
Because you’re also essentially shooting landscapes the single focus setting would be most desired on your camera as opposed to continuous focus. You will also be best served by manual selection of your favorite auto focus point based on composition of the image. This is where CILCs (Compact Interchangeable Lens Cameras) come in handy as they allow faster selection of the focusing point due to the fully adjustable focusing bracket. Cameras like the Panasonic G2 have touch control that allows you to simply tap where you’d like to focus.
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