Tips for shooting autumn scenes

Autumn is upon us and with forecasters predicting the weekend to be warm and calm, it’s the prefect time to get out into the countryside and capture the stunning autumnal displays.  Here are some tips for capturing great autumn photos.

1. Shoot into the light.


Get beneath the canopy and capture dramatic scenes by shooting into the light. Early to mid morning and late afternoon is the best time to try this technique. As the sun stream through the trees, long shadows are cast and the leaves are backlit, producing stunning colours. Top tip here is to position yourself so that the sun is behind a tree.

2. Shoot Reflections

In Scotland we are spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful lochs and what better time than the still warm autumn days to capture the seasonal display.  You can wait for windless days to capture mirror-like reflections or wait for the gentle breezes to create a more painterly look.  Move close or out wide to capture sweeping views. Top tip: the best reflections occur when the light is coming from the side as in the photo above. Best times are early in the day when it is most likely to be still.

3. Capture mist


Autumn is the best time of year to combine dreamy ethereal scenes with the bursts of colour in foliage. Mist is best captured in the early morning (left image) or as the sun sets in the evening (right image). In the mornings as the sun rises and the land warms, mist forms and it’s a great time to capture amazing colours. Position yourself behind a hill or a tree just before the sun rises and capture the deep saturated colours as the sun rises. In the evening, get out a couple of hours before and especially after a rain shower. As the temperature begins to drop, mist can form really quickly.  Try side lighting as above and wait for the sun to just drop into the horizon to avoid flare.

4. Shoot overhangs on dull days

Trees spreading out over water make fantastic images filled with dynamic movement and deep saturated colours.  You’ll need a tripod to capture this type of image. Set yourself up and set your camera to aroudd a 1 second exposure. Dull days are best for this type of image to stop bright light competing with the bright reflections of the water behind.

5. Visit national heritage sites

Stately homes and castles are superb places to see dazzling seasonal displays. Manicured gardens and magnificent boulevards with exotic tree species can make amazing days out as well as providing opportunities to capture the autumn in full swing.  Check the VisitScotland and Scottish Natural Heritage websites for great places to visit.
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