This is one of my favourite times of year as a photographer. Crisp, clear days, a pure quality of light and an abundance of colours and fascinating subjects. If you are familiar with my photographic style you’ll know that I don’t usually go in for landscape photography as such, but prefer to find some detail in the landscape – whether that’s a close up shot of a leaf, bark, plant etc or a feature within the landscape. I have a wonderful book by David Ward called “The Landscape Within”, which has been the inspiration for many of my own shots.
Several years ago I did an assignment on Autumn as part of my A’ Level in Photography. At that time I was still using a compact camera, so all the shots shown here are shot on that – a Panasonic Lumix – lovely cameras. Autumn leaves are the obvious autumnal shot and I went off to Tatton Park and Biddulph Grange in search of fiery acers. The red image on the left didn’t require any special
techniques – it was just a case of framing the right shot and zooming in a little to blur the background.
The small shot on the left is quite unusual – the sun had caught the outer branches and leaves of an acer, whilst the trees and bushes in the background were relatively dark as they were in deep shade. When I looked at this shot on the computer I decided to further deepen the shadows and brighten and saturate the leaves. Unusually for me I then applied an effect called cut out which simplifies the colour palette and emphasised the contrast between the leaves and the background (and my Photoshop skills were almost non-existent in those days!).
Although technical ability does play a part in creating a good shot (it makes it easier to achieve what you want), I strongly believe that it’s having the all important eye and being constantly on the look out for an interesting composition that is the crucial factor. The shot of leaves under water remains one of my favourite images of Autumn and once I’d spotted it, it was only a matter of framing the shot and pressing the shutter (most likely all done on AUTO in those days!).
I mentioned the amazing clarity and quality of the light at this time of year – it must be something to do with atmospherics and temperature, but you can’t beat a cold, clear autumnal day as far as I’m concerned. And as the sun sets earlier you are more likely to be out and about and able to get some great shots. The golden light makes for extremely flattering portraits – this is one of Abbie that I particularly like.
David Ward in “The Landscape Within” seeks out details which are different to the usual landscape shot. I tried to do the same with this shot of the Tyne Bridge at sunset. After firing off lots of shots of the entire bridge I zoomed in and focused on the idea of commuters on their way home, lifted by the wonderful sunset on the river.
As Autumn moves into Winter we’ll get the first frosts (possibly sooner than we think as a cold spell is now forecast) and early in the morning the most mundane of objects is transformed by an icy coat. I love this shot of barbed wire and cobwebs and almost want to shiver as I look at the frosty fields beyond.
So dig out those scarves, hats and fingerless gloves and get out there now!!!
(And don’t get me started on fungi – I spent a whole day photographing over 50 types of mushrooms – separate blog to follow!)
By Jane Burkinshaw. Share this post by clicking on one of the Share buttons on the right hand side. I’d love to hear your comments too!