It's getting autumn again (in some places it already is) so I thought i'd share some tips and possibly inspiration for your autumn photography images. I love autumn as a season when the trees turn gold. It just gives that magic atmosphere. Here in The Netherlands autumn is usually quite late, around the beginning or mid November. But I already see the first signs of autumn happening. The colours in the forest change the latest usually, but the trees in between the houses that catch the most light are already turning yellow now. But enough about the yellow leaves, here are some tips to photograph them :) :
Trees photographed with a longer lens to remove the chaos.
1. Photographing trees and forests can be chaotic. Use a longer lens and focus on smaller parts to avoid a messy photo. It takes practise photographing the forest. Look for the 'clean' pieces in a forest and just casually and slowly move around looking through the viewfinder until you find your 'little' scenes.
A curvy bike lane through the forest.
A simple road making its way through the forest with lots of different autumn colours on an early morning.
2. Paths and Lanes are great for autumn shots. The pavement makes an automatic leading line through the forest, and also adds great contrast between the monotone road and the very colourful trees on the sides.
Thick fog in the forest with great colour contrast of popping orange autumn colours. I enhanced the color difference even more in post to make the orange colours really pop.
3. Fog! I love photographing forests with fog. Shooting the autumn forests with a bit of a misty atmosphere can be surreal. As I said: forests can be chaotic and there is just so much going on in terms of composition. But fog separates all the different layers of trees and makes your life much easier. And it adds an mysterious dimension to your photo. For me, there are 2 kinds of fog in the forest: thick fog, and:
Strong light beams making their way through the forest. By underexposing a little bit they became even more apparent.
4. Light rays. Light rays occur with clear skies and high humidity. So if you get these predictions during autumn, it's party time :) It usually happens in the early mornings but it can happen anytime. Keep a good eye on the weather. In my opinion, they're most beautiful about 1-2 hours after sunrise, when the sun is still low on the horizon and the beams of light blast their way through the trees
A little tree in a dark part of the forest, with just 1 ray of light perfectly hitting the tree. Shot at 400mm
Small scenes like this new life on a (sadly) burned tree can be beautiful.
5. Look at smaller scenes. This can be macro, or just a small scene very far away that can be captured with a 400mm lens for example. Think of a dark forest where just 1 beam of light is hitting 1 tree.
Different parts and branches in the forest constantly light up creating new photo opportunities.
6. Follow the light: Autumn forests are incredible with their golden trees and golden light peaking through it. But the sun moves, so the light constantly changes. Every time new compositions pop up because of the changing of light. You have to act fast to get the shot, or it might be gone. Sometimes its almost like 'dancing with the light.' You come into a rhythm and move with the light through the forest. Forest photography is quite difficult that way, but extremely rewarding! On a beautiful morning in the forest you can sometimes 'harvest' so many good portfolio shots.
By positioning the sun right in between these 2 trees, I shot a perfect sunstar at f/14.
7. If you like sunstars, you can do some very cool stuff in the forest. By positioning the sun right next to a branch or a tree, you get these beautiful little stars by using a closed down aperture (f/14-f/22). You can get very creative with it. Note that the shape of your sunstar greatly depends on the lens. Kit lenses often don't have 'pretty' sunstars, but other lenses really have beautiful sunstars. The shot above was taken with the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 lens for Sony E-mount.