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Learn how to take better fall photos

One of the best season to take photos is fall.  The change in the landscape with brilliant colors and new revealing textures is almost too much for a photographer.  The average photographer doesn’t have easy access to rolling landscapes with hundreds of colorful trees and lakes to take that perfect fall photo.  So what are you to do if you love taking pictures but can’t get to the ideal location?  It’s much simpler than you may think.  Follow my best photo tip and simply get out and start to take photos.  While taking your fall photos remember these simple tips to improve each photo.

5 Simple tips to improve your fall photography

  1. Backgrounds make your photo pop – One of the simplest things to do is blur the background so that what you’re taking a picture of pops.  Ideally you should have in your kit a nifty 50mm lens with an aperture between F/2.8 and F1.8.  With this lens you’ll easily create that silky bokeh and blur the background. Example of background blur.
  2. Master exposure – Correct exposure setting isn’t the only way to master it.  Push the limits both with over and under exposing pictures.  This simple creative element allows you to play with the mood of a shot.  Use your exposure compensation to over and under expose the same picture to see how different you can make fall look. Examples of high-key and low key exposures.  If you’re new to photography exposure check out these exposure articles for more help.
  3. Isolate the subject with color – Fall is either full of color with the changing leaves or it’s absent of color.  All depends when you go out and where you live.  Either way you can make your photo pop by isolating the color.  Shooting up toward the sky can give you a high-key effect or likewise, shooting toward the ground can give a low-key effect. Either way colors will jump out focusing the eye on your subject. Example of color isolation.
  4. Leverage depth of field – The depth of field plays an important role in both the exposure and color isolating in tips 3 and 2.  Blurring dull or busy backgrounds will help to isolate the subject and focus the viewers eyes.  If you’re taking a landscape photo to capture all the fall colors try using hyper-focus techniques to get as much of the foreground and background in focus. This is can also be used as a bird photography tip for all you birders. Example of DOF.
  5. Create motion blur – Create motion in a motionless scene.  Moving the camera in a circular rotation or up and down to create 2 very different looks.  Simply keep the aperture open long enough to create the blur. This is an opposite approach to one of my horse racing photo tips which is to isolate the motion by panning left to right. Example of rotation blur.

With these simple tips you can quickly improve your fall photography.  The fall photo gallery below shows just how easy it is to capture the beauty of the changing colors without the need for grand landscape pictures.


Image examples for each fall photo tip

Photo example 1 Background

Learn how to take better fall photos
Example of background blur

Photo example 2 Exposure

Learn how to take better fall photos
Example of how to use the sky for high-key photos
Learn how to take better fall photos
A rainy day makes the ground an easy low-key background

Photo example 3 Color

Learn how to take better fall photos
Isolate color with a blurred background

Photo example 4 DOF

Learn how to take better fall photos
Shallow depth of field draws the viewer in

Photo example 5 Blur

Learn how to take better fall photos
Simple rotation of the camera creates a colorful motion blur





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