Ideas and Tips for Taking Magnificent Photos in Autumn
A misty autumn morning could be all the motivation you need to pick up your phone and capture the spirit of the moody day. Take this inspiration, pick up your DSLR camera, and go for a walk. Often the best moments are disguised in daily routine and autumn is the perfect time to capture the essence of this ever-changing, colorful, and beautiful time of the year.
Autumn photography is a challenge in itself because of the constant weather conditions. This article begins with inspiration for this reason – ideas to inspire you on what to shoot this fall as well as valuable tips on cameras and gear for shooting outstanding autumn photos. Remember to have fun experimenting because sometimes being spontaneous is what makes your images so special.
Unusual Fall Photoshoot Ideas
You don’t have to go far to figure out what to shoot in the autumn. The changing weather, moody days, colorful landscapes, and props are enough to give you a range of ideas. Here are some of the more unusual and unconventional ideas for fall photoshoots:
1. Design your scene
Start at home. Pictures of autumn don’t have to be just outdoors. With all the colorful leaves, fruits, nuts, and berries, you can do an easy home set up for flat lay designs. You can create a styled shoot in the comforts of home to showcase the elements of fall that make the season so unique. Test your creativity and imagination with things you can collect outside and at the grocery store.
This idea gives you enough room for creativity to capture the mood and spirit of autumn in an artistic way. Get some props and products – food, elements of nature, clothing, fabric, tea, and have fun. Arrange them on the table outside and shoot from above. Capture the things that excite you about fall and that communicate the mood that resonates with you.
2. Use textures and details
Autumn is also the perfect season of the year to capture a variety of different patterns and details that make the season unique. Go for macro photography to capture the fine details with images of fall leaves. There are spiderwebs and dew all around that are illuminated at the right times of the day. Keep an eye out for these fine details as you explore the outdoors.
Get low and capture pictures of falling leaves, branches in an arrangement, and dew on the grass. Experiment with angles as you focus on small details. The dampness of autumn also means that fungus and mushrooms are all around. This is your chance to focus on something less obvious for a fall photoshoot idea.
3. People and portraits with context
Make the season work as a context for your portraits. You can even start with self-portraits or ask your loved ones if they’d like to join you for a fall photo shoot. Capture people in an outdoor environment or at home enjoying a meal or beverages for more atmospheric shots. If you’re out on a walk, have fun with all the leaves for colorful fall pictures.
Use a wide aperture to create a powerful atmosphere when you shoot people outdoors this fall. Try also to go out when it’s a bit moody and overcast outside instead of really sunny days. Ambient light will give you just the right contrast to create powerful portraits.
4. Colorful landscapes with a twist
As we get to the most popular niche with autumn photography, remember that colorful fall pictures don’t always have to be boring. Time and time again we see picture-perfect fall moments but step outside this mindset and aim for a more creative approach. What if fall landscapes were black and white for example?
Landscape photography can give you a range of autumn backgrounds, which is a really popular stock photography niche. This category of fall pictures can be used in your portfolio as clients are always on the lookout for new landscapes that translate the change of seasons.
5. Catch foggy days
Regardless of the time of the day, the fog will help you enhance your images with an autumnal mood. Wake up early, grab your camera, and go. Fog softens the contrast of the scene, which isn’t always a bad thing. Distorted depth of field translates moody days that can’t be mistaken for any other season.
Fog helps create a different kind of depth of field. For example, foggy weather in the woods can add mystery to your images and the lack of contrast can make for really interesting black and white shots.
More Tips on How to Take Better Images in the Fall
On camera settings
The right camera settings will make or break your photographs. For more magnificent photos taken in the autumn and to save time during the post-production stage, go manual. Here are some basic tips.
1. Smaller aperture can go a long way
When shooting details like images of fall leaves, you’ll need a deeper depth of field. Use a smaller aperture of f11 or greater. This allows more light in and can help with better exposure while keeping things in focus. Remember that this would require a higher ISO or a slower shutter speed, so don’t forget to bring your tripod!
2. White balance tricks
Golden autumn colors make fall truly a one-of-a-kind time to go out to shoot. It’s best to shoot with a warmer white balance to bring those lovely autumn colors out. Your white balance settings will depend on if you’re outdoors, indoors, and the time of the day. Most days spent shooting outdoors could use ‘daylight’ or ‘shade’, and ‘cloudy’ setting for overcast days.
3. Always shoot RAW
Here comes a basic tip that will revolutionize your photography. You will always have less room for improvements when editing JPEG images. Because lighting conditions are particular in the fall, do shoot RAW for more flexibility. You’ll be able to easily adjust exposure, white balance, and saturation as you edit your pictures later. This file format also keeps your images at the highest quality.
There is one important thing to remember and that is that gear is of least importance when it comes to photography. Don’t stress about having the most high-tech gear as photography is more about your artistic vision. If the image quality is of concern, both a DSLR and mirrorless camera will give you those crisp autumn photos. A mirrorless camera is more lightweight and convenient, which is a good investment for your hobby in the long run.
Details are everything, and to ensure better fall images, use a wider focal length. 16mm or 35mm lenses are ideal for different scenery framings but are also perfect to give you room to crop the images during post-production. For closeups, a telephoto lens will do.
If you’re shooting with a small aperture and slow shutter speed, it goes without saying that a tripod is necessary to avoid blurry images. Mount your camera on a monopod or tripod and choose your framings wisely.
About polarizing filters
Many resources online mention using a polarizing filter for fall photography. This filter can make the colors pop by boosting the saturation. Another perk is that polarizing filters are adjustable, giving you the creative freedom to decrease their strength as you shoot different subjects.
Last Fall Photoshoot Tip to Remember
This article has all the fall photoshoot ideas and photography tips you need to get started, but remember that it’s equally important to improvise during your photoshoots. Taking a stroll in the woods or simply staying outdoors can inspire you to capture unique details others may have missed.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and equip yourself with all the tools to help you capture the right angles to translate the atmosphere of fall and this magical time of the year. Morning, afternoon, or evening – fleeting fall moments are just waiting to be captured.