Autumn Colours

06th October 2016
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Autumn - I love the colours, but they can be difficult to capture. Down here in the westcountry, we are blessed with amazingly diverse, unspoilt and beautiful landscapes to feast our cameras on. However, too often I have seen one big storm strip the trees just as the leaves are starting to turn. So, in order to make the most of the seasonal opportunities, we need to plan carefully. Here are a selection of my top tips for Autumn.

1) Keep Eyes Open
It is difficult to pin a date in the calendar for when the leaves will be at the peak of their colour. Keep a keen eye open when out and about, and watch the colours developing. Different trees will develop at different rates, and there can be a lot of local variation between open areas and sheltered valleys.

2) Shoot Early
With the Atlantic ocean so close, we are susceptible in Cornwall and Devon to strong autumnal storms, which can strip the golden leaves before we can photograph them. Often, I will decide on a particular shot or location and then revisiting several times over successive weeks to ensure I capture the peak of the colours. Also consider the weather, as local rivers and streams can look much more photogenic before a heavy rain storm when river levels are low.

3) Shoot really early
Nothing sets of the vibrant autumnal hues such as some crisp, clear early morning air. There is something special about the light in the early mornings, and this is never more true than during the fall.
Mist and fog are also fairly common at this time of year, and these atmospheric effects can really enhance a photograph by adding a sense of depth and mystery.

4) Clouds are your friend.
Overcast weather is often a bane for landscape photographers. However at this time of year, it can defuse strong sunlight, and allow the subtle seasonal tones to dominate. A lot of my woodland scenes are photographed in such light, where I prefer the subtle qualities of overcast weather.

5) Details
Always keep a careful eye open for interesting details which can easily be missed, but also say so much about the season. Fallen leaves on the ground , fungi and dew covered spider webs for example, make fascinating subjects

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