The colors and textures of the fall season always get me excited to get my camera out and take photos. Every September I start to anticipate the coming weeks ahead when the leaves will start to change color, they will fall to the ground, crunching as I walk across them.
When you think of fall, you think of vivid warm colors but fall is also a time when the leaves mold and wither, the trees become bare and stark. It is all interesting to photograph, so take time to look around you, see the light and the dark, the vivid and the subdued colors and textures.
We had a very dry summer which was very unusual for the west coast of BC and although I enjoyed so many days of sunshine, I also knew that it probably meant that the fall scenery wouldn’t be as vivid, as lush, as usual because the greenery was already dry and brittle by the time September came along. Generally I would take a lot of wide angle shots but this year I focused on tighter shots, coming in closer, capturing small areas of interest, of color and texture.
Photograph from different angles. For this next shot, I got low to the ground, shooting outward, across the log.
This interesting texture caught my eye right away. A single red leaf had fallen from the tree overhead onto this wilting, molding cabbage leaf.
This year I wasn’t able to capture bright, sunny, well-lit wide angle shots of the landscape but I was able to focus on small bits of color, of texture and feel I was able to capture the essense of fall here on the west coast this year.
As to what camera or lens to use, I say….use the one you have! I have used DSLR’s for years but this year I used a small mirror-less camera with a 16-55 mm zoom lens. It was light to carry around and I enjoyed my walk without straining my shoulder/back. I didn’t carry a big camera bag with 2-3 lenses as I normally would (macro, wide angle and telephoto lenses), I brought a small messenger bag with my wallet, keys and phone along with an extra camera battery and memory card. That’s it. So there are pros and cons about each camera and lens choice but, really, what matters is to get outdoors, look around you and take some photos to remember the fall season in your area.
If you edit your photos and want to manipulate the colors a bit, watch these short Youtube videos for instruction on how to adjust the channel mixer and hue/saturation in Photoshop. A little extra contrast boost and slight color adjustment can really make your images pop. I find that fall colors and textures don’t require a lot of editing, if any, and edit with a very light hand.
Grab your camera and get outdoors to capture the beauty of the changing season. Have fun!