The seasons, they are a changin’, and as we head into autumn, so many photographic opportunities present themselves as the world glistens with vibrant new colors. The sun dances across the bright hues of orange, yellow, and red, looking as if the sky is a full on canvas itself. And if you are anything like me, this can only mean one thing…it’s time to whip out that camera.
If you are an aspiring photographer or are just simply handy with your smartphone, learning some fun tricks can make a world of difference when it comes to your fall photos and give you the chance to create some beautiful artwork for the home and office or simply improve your Instagram and Facebook photos. Angles, lighting, time of day, and so much more can all be incorporated in creating a dazzling Fall scrapbook of memories that simply takes your breath away. So what are these great tricks, you ask? Let’s dive into some easy to create photographic magic that will help you to produce those breathtaking fall photos that will be the envy of every Pinterest account.
Focusing on the angle that you are holding your camera at will vastly change your photo taking game. When we first learn to take a picture, we essentially just stand straight, aim, and shoot. However, placing your camera at a different angle (above, below, slightly tilted) can add a whole new dimension to your photos that consistently look more dynamic. I love that above this ground shot that allows the grass to be a background canvas.
Get on a Different Level
This goes right along with the angles tip, but putting your body on a different level will completely shift how the story is being portrayed. Remember, with each photo you take, a new story line is born. One that describes the adventure, relaxation, or perfect memory that you are capturing. You will be amazed at the immediate difference your photos take on when you physically lay on the ground to capture the scene at a whole new level. This on the ground scene shows the leaves from their ground angle, as each drawn on vein shimmers in the sunlight, giving new life to the photo.
Change the Perspective
Have you ever seen those photos that make you feel like you’re the actual participant in whatever the photo is of? That’s because the photographer is choosing to change the perspective and take a direct view from wherever the subject is standing. Let me give you an example. You can take a photo of your favorite aunt pulling her fall pie out of the oven, or you can change the perspective and get directly behind your favorite aunt to focus over her shoulder at the pie as she is pulling it out of the oven, creating more of an action shot. These are always some of my favorite photos cause they allow you to be right there in the middle of it all, just as our subject in the below picture is about to place on her glasses.
Time of Day
The time of day is going to make a world of difference in the appearance and beauty of your photos. From the sun rising over the trees in the morning to the watercolor painted sky in the evenings, becoming strategic with your when, will really add an artistic level to an already beautiful setup. Capturing the sun as it is setting creates gorgeous lighting affects as it bounces off of its surroundings producing rainbow colored gleams throughout the photo and giving it an almost angelic presence.
Off Center the Main Subject
This easy little trick can enhance the Autumn scenery immensely. Whatever your subject may be (tree, people, animal, bench, etc) simply place them in the left or right side of your photo and make the gorgeous fall background the real star of the picture. This is a great way to not only showcase the direct subject but the amazing scenic area you are shooting in as well. This allows for your subjects to be apart of the photo and not the entire focus, creating a large ambiance as well as telling more of a story.
Create a Shallow Depth of Field, AKA Blurry Background
This may be a bit more difficult without an adjustable camera lens, but certainly not impossible. The easiest way I’ve found to acquire this technique is by physically getting up close to the object being photographed. Most cameras will then naturally blur out everything else surrounding the item. This not only allows what you are photographing to shine, but it also gives it a bit of a border in the blurring around it, enhancing the intended subject along the way. If you do have access to a camera with some manual settings you can achieve this look by setting your aperture to a small number, like 2.8. This will allow in more light so you may also need to make sure your shutter speed is bumped up a bit. If you are only shooting with a phone you can often fake this effect a bit with some fun editing apps or right in Instagram.
Picking the Perfect Week
Now I simply love taking fall photos and have for years, so I’ve always paid close attention to the very best time to do so. In my experience, here in the northeast of the US, our very best fall photo weeks are the last week in October and the first week in November, though this can depend on the amount of rain and wind throughout the fall. These two weeks typically allow for breathtaking photos as all of the leaves have acquired that golden and orangey hue, without quite falling from the trees yet. Your photos will consist of massively towering colorfully painted trees that shine brighter than the sun and each photo will light up your camera screen without even having to try hard. So paying attention to the weeks that your leaves are the most colorful while maintaining their position on the trees will set you up for great photos in the years to come.
I truly hope that you have found some of these tips helpful for your fall photography sessions. You do not have to be a professional photographer to get breathtakingly beautiful pictures. Simply try out some of these tips and tricks and watch your photo taking game rise to a whole new level. Happy snapping!