Fall is Coming!
Presented by Glenn Springer, TIF, RHCC

It's mid-August, but...
I saw some premature coloured leaves today! Scary thought!



This is your typical postcard photo of fall colours. Every year I say I'm not going to shoot more of these but the colours are so captivating! Use the reflections in our beautiful Highlands lakes!

Something in the foreground — in this case, my car — makes the image more interesting.

This image was shot the same time as the one at left. If you try to incorporate other features in the shot: in this case the boat in the foreground (with the same colours as the trees on its side!),
it makes for a more compelling image


I know it’s mid-August, but in a few short weeks, we’ll be looking at the fantastic fall season in the Highlands. That’s when most people dust off their cameras and drag them out to capture the breathtaking colours. Fall is ALMOST all about colours but there’s more, there’s textures and more importantly, there’s the connection to the feelings and experiences just from being there.

It doesn't always have to be about the colours. This time I shot the reflections in this pond for a sense of pattern and texture. Try different shutter speeds: for this one, 1/500 second froze the ripples in the water.


I’ve said before that “you can’t take a bad picture of your kids”. That’s because you’re not just making a two dimensional representation of what they looked like or a record of what they were doing; you’re capturing memories and experiences, after all you were there. Try to put the same essence in your fall photos.

Most of you are not expert photographers, so you still have to put some thought into the mechanics of taking the pictures. You have to think about exposure compensation, and focusing on the right thing, and shutter speed and aperture… and I get that when you do that, it’s hard to free your mind’s eye up to what you’re trying to capture. Those of you who have followed my previous articles (you can see them here: www.photography.to/tips.htm) understand that there are certain things you have to make sure of in order to make a better picture.

Once you understand about focus and exposure, and you avoid problems like camera shake at slow shutter speeds, you can then think about composition and lighting. We touched on some of that in previous articles. Want an extraordinary picture? Find extraordinary lighting!


It's all about the light, isn't it? The contrast of the sun on these ferns and the shadows in the background makes the subject really stand out!



Don't forget the golden hours! Bright sunsets complement the foreground colours.


Look for interesting skies


"It was a rainy day...". If the sun were shining, the bright fall colours would be overwhelming. Here, the dull skies gave a more pastel look to the world and this image has more mood in it. This is one of my favourite fall images, I find it incredibly calming.


Fall colours are spectacular but you don’t need dayglow bright colours to make an outstanding picture. So if it’s raining, or foggy, or dark or the edge of the day, who cares? There are a million pictures out there. Just make sure they are focused where you want and exposed where you want. Try this: make something or someone the focus of the picture, not the trees. And get ‘invested’ in the picture: something special that you can connect with afterwards. That’s what will make your pictures extraordinary.


How do you do abstracts like this? Set your shutter speed very slow (I find that 1/10 second, plus or minus, works best for me). Focus as usual, then as you release the shutter, move the camera on purpose! It works best when you move in the direction of the lines in the picture — in this case, up and down.



Here's another one. You don't need a fancy camera to shoot these, this image was shot with my Coolpix point-and-shoot camera!



I created an eBook right about this time last year: it’s a 53-page short course on shooting fall colours and you can download it here: http://photography.to/fallguide.html for $2: that’s less than the cost of a large coffee. And my guarantee: if you want your money back for any reason, no questions asked, just send me an email. I promise you’ll like it.






Another moody fall picture. You can't tell it's fall, specifically, but when else do you get this misty soft light? This image worked really well and it's available as a large format print. Go to my Limited Edition Prints gallery to find it.

I will be running some workshops and Photowalks in the fall. It’s great to get together with a bunch of other photographers to shoot the fall scenery, and I know I won't be able to resist going out and capturing some of that spectacular light. To find out when and where and other details, please subscribe to my newsletter. No spam, I promise!

Links to FACzen Photography:
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