5 Ways to Shoot Autumn Leaves

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CC Photo by Nicholas Below

Autumn is all about color and leaves. Red, orange and yellow suddenly becomes the predominant color of nature instead of the usual green. What you need to know is that red, orange and yellow are advancing colors. This means that if you look at different colored objects at a same distance from you, the objects that are colored red, orange and yellow will appear closer. This is the reason why photos of autumn landscapes look like they’re jumping right at you. Below are five tips you can use to help you get creative with autumn leaves.

1. Play With Color

There is no rule in photography that prohibits you from moving things around to get the best possible shot. Try playing around with different colored leaves and different angles to get the effect you want.


CC Photo by Clearly Ambiguous

2. Get Low

Get on your belly and shoot leaves as they lie on the grass. A wide aperture will greatly help your composition since it will blur out any distracting elements that may block your subject. In the photo below an aperture setting of f/1.4 was used to blur out the grass between the camera and leaf.


CC Photo by Jeff Kubina

3. Don’t Forget the City

Capturing autumn does not need to be limited to forests and parks. Look for fallen leaves on sidewalks and city streets. The bright autumn colors will really pop out of the gray surroundings.


CC Photo by moriza

4. Leaves on Water

There is something really peaceful about leaves floating on puddles or rivers. Try capturing a photo with ripples on the surface of the water to make it look more dynamic.


CC Photo by Waechor

5. Play with Your Shutter Speed

Freeze the leaves in mid-air by shooting at 1/500. This technique is especially effective if you’re shooting another subject that may be blocked by the falling leaves. Alternately, you can go the abstract route by shooting at a low shutter speed to emphasize the motion of the leaves.


CC Photo by darkpatator

Related Reading:
Shooting with Slow Shutter Speed
How to Create Bokeh in Your Photos
5 Ways to Hold Your Viewers’ Attention

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