Archive for October, 2012

Leaves, Pumpkins and Other Orange Things


The variety of trees in the Ohio River Valley usually provide a wonderful display of color each fall that brings out the photographer in all of us.  Even if this summer’s drought leaves us with a more subdued show, here are some tips to get the most out of your fall photos:

  • Use a polarizing filter (DSLR) or the “vivid colors” setting to enhance the colors and filter out reflections (remember to change the setting back when you are finished).
  • Like all outdoor photography, the best sunlight is very early in the morning or very late in the day.
  • Overcast days usually result in a more saturated (bolder) color; just don’t include much of the gray sky in your photo.
  • Close-up shots on individual leaves can be very interesting; be sure to use a macro lens with a wide aperture (small number) or your camera’s macro setting.
  • While an expanse of different colors may look wonderful to our eyes, it will not transfer to a photograph.  Be sure to include something other than leaves in your photo like a road, water or some sort of structure (covered bridges work exceptionally well in fall photos).
  • Fall flowers like mums are always popular subjects; be sure to kneel so you aren’t shooting down on them.
  • When photographing scarecrows or a stuffed dummy, use the photography rules for people (fill the frame and don’t crop at the joints).
  • Fill the frame with your jack o’ lantern and try several angles to maximize spookiness (shooting from below is usually good).  For best results, don’t include the candle in your shot and take the photo before it is totally dark.
  • Take advantage of the full moon on October 29th and include it in your photographs.
  • Arranging your shot is not cheating.  Feel free to move things where you want them.  If the wind didn’t blow the leaves in that creek, add a few and take the picture (no one will ever know).