Words & Images by Rockbrook Camera Staff
The Fall season in the midwest is a special time. After months of heat, we get to button up and enjoy the outdoors as the colors shift and change into something special.
This year, it’s time to get the best images of the season you’ve ever captured with a few tips for you from your friends at Rockbrook Camera.
1 - Tell the story
Photography is stronger when there’s a story attached to the photographs, and having a series of photos to tell the story together is long-standing tradition.
An easy way to do this is to photograph in a sequence that goes from wide to medium to close-up photographs.
The wide photograph tells us about the location and the bigger picture.
The medium photographs get us a little closer and ask the viewer to begin to pay attention to what you are bringing them into the scene for.
Finally, the close and extreme close shots give the viewer a granular look at what makes the location special, such as the details of a leaf.
2 - Golden Hour
If you go out for 45 minutes after sunrise or before sunset, the light becomes very different. With the sun at a lower point in the horizon, the intensity of light is lower and tones and hues are usually more subdued. This allows the golden colors of Fall to find even more brilliance!
3 - Contrasting Color
The Fall is a great time to experiment with color combinations in your nature photographs. Pay attention to a single leaf amidst others that stands out due to the contrasting color.
4 - Overcast Light is Great!
Yes, the golden hour is beautiful, but soft overcast light on a cloudy day is definitely a “Fall” story. This light softens the shadows and contrast of your images, which can create a dreamy quality to your photos, perfect to go with the idea of bundling up for warmth.
If you are photographing in the middle of the day in bright light, still use the sun to your advantage. Strive to create interesting compositions through highlights and shadows that make an interesting photo with depth as well as detail.
5 - WAIT! Don’t rake…
Before you rake, consider using the natural beauty and texture of fallen leaves to enhance your Fall portraits!
6 - Experiment with the Camera's Color Profile
Have fun playing with your camera’s color profile. These profiles can enhance the beauty that’s already present in the Fall.
Boosting the color tone and saturation brings out more of the color, and increasing contrast creates a rich separation between light and dark areas of your photos.
Different camera manufacturers allow you to adjust the look and feel of the photos, so the best way to find what you like is to go out and experiment with different settings for the right look and feel to your Fall photographs.
7 - Use a Polarizer Filter
Consider using a polarizer filter to get deeper colors and less reflections in your fall photographs. A polarizer works by canceling out certain frequencies of reflective light, allowing you to capture more of the natural beauty.
8 - Composition, Composition, Composition
Don’t forget to have a definite subject somewhere to draw the viewers eye, not just a bunch of colorful leaves. When shooting, look around and use your environment to fully capture a foreground, middle ground, and background to enhance your composition to lead the eye through the entire image.
If you need inspiration on where to go, check out our list of local outdoor photography locations for Eastern Nebraska.
- DSLR, Mirrorless Camera, Or Digital Compact Camera
- Wide-Angle Lens to capture wide landscapes.
- Telephoto Lens to isolate a subject such as a leaf or animal.
- Macro Lens or Extension Tubes for Macro Images.
- Lens Filters for protection and a variety of effects, such as color enhancement or motion blur.
- Monopod or Tripod for stabilization of long lenses or slow shutter speeds.
- Photo Gloves to keep your fingers warm and nimble.
- Backpack to carry your gear comfortably.