Autumn. Get Ready For Autumn. Technique eguide. Get Ready For

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1 Get Ready For Autumn Blink and you may have missed it, but our summer is behind us again and we re back into the short days and long nights of autumn. For photography however, the arrival of autumn means beautiful light, rich autumn colours and landscapes transformed from overbearing greens of summer, to vibrant reds and golds of autumn. So, now s the chance to capture autumn at its best and try out some new camera skills too. Our 16 must shoot autumn ideas will kick start your photography with some challenging techniques and reward you with some cracking autumnal pictures at the same time. So lets go outside, Landscape views Take advantage of the late sunrise and get out with your camera at first light (above). Wrap up warm and set your camera up on a tripod with a wide angle lens, to capture the beautiful views. Shoot in aperture priority mode and select a small aperture of f16 to maximise depth-of-field and fire the shutter with a cable release or your camera s self-timer for shake free images. Compose carefully and think about the rule of thirds as you frame your scene. Manual focus the lens a third of the way into the picture for front to back sharpness. Reflections If you find autumn trees round a lake or along a river, then shoot these on a calm, windless day and capture the reflections of these rich colours on the surface of the water. Use a polariser to remove any glare from the water and let those colours shine through. This will also extend the shutter speed and help smooth out any ripples that may crop up on the surface. Look for symmetrical compositions and break the rules by placing the horizon across the centre of the frame. 2 1 Above: Autumn colours reflected in water make for wonderful images. Page one All text and images Craig Roberts

2 Light through trees 3 For atmospheric pictures with bags of impact, then shoot the shafts of warm sunlight through the autumn trees. You need to be in position just after sunrise, before the sun gets to high and then find a location where you are looking directly into the light. Select partial metering on your camera and take a reading from the brightest, sunlit area, but not the sun itself. This allows the shaft of light to be nicely exposed, whilst the shadows create a dramatic dark backdrop. Bracket your exposures by 1 stop either side to make sure you get a good result. Low angle views 4 With leaves scattered on the ground, you can grab yourself a really dramatic shot, by shooting from a really low angle. You can either lie on the ground and shoot handheld, or lower your tripod to its lowest position and shoot this way. You could even rest the camera on a beanbag and use this as your support. Put your widest angle lens on the camera to fill the frame with the leaves just inches in front of you and choose the Landscape Picture mode setting, so that the camera selects a small aperture to keep everything nice and sharp. Some knee pads to kneel on or a black bin bag to lay down on, may assist you when taking low angle shots, as well keep your clothes clean. Page two

3 5 Use a Polariser The low sun at this time of the year is perfect for making full use of your polarising filter. Stand at 90 degrees to the sun and rotate the filter in front of your eye to see the sky darken and the autumn colours enrich as if by magic. Place the filter over your lens in this same position and capture the vibrant colours. Shoot in aperture priority mode and the camera will automatically take into account the 2 stops of light that the filter absorbs. Keep an eye on the resulting shutter speed how ever and put the camera on a tripod if this drops below 1/125th of a second. Backlit leaves 6 Select your longest focal length and zoom right in on single or groups of leaves on a tree. Fill the frame with the leaves and this will enable the camera to take a correct exposure for the subject. Try shooting into the sun, so that your chosen subject glows in the light and select the Sports Picture Mode, which will set your camera up with the ideal aperture. Also choosing Landscape Picture Style for your Jpegs will increase colour saturation for all your autumn images. Page three

4 Close up leaves As well as the leaves on the trees, look out for the ones under your feet too, especially near the end of the season. The carpet of leaves on a forest floor, make wonderful natural patterns to shoot. You don t need a special macro lens to shoot these either. Just zoom in close with your kit lens and rotate the focus to the closest setting until everything becomes nice and sharp in the frame. If you point the camera straight down at the leaves, you won t need a small aperture, so you should be able to handhold, with a mid aperture of f5.6 or f8 and still keep everything in nice sharp focus. Uprate the ISO to 400 if you are shooting in shade to avoid camera shake. 7 Breath on lens for a soft focus glow Taking your camera out of a warm environment into the cold air, can cause condensation to build on the front of the lens, and you ll need to take a cloth to wipe this off. Before you do however, try taking some shots with the condensation on the lens to give your images a soft glow. You can even add to the effect by breathing on the lens yourself and then waiting for it to clear slightly to capture the autumn trees with a creative soft effect. 8 Compress with a telephoto To really give your shots plenty of colour, shoot rows of trees with a long telephoto lens. Any lens over 150mm will give the illusion of compression, making the trees appear closer together than they actually are. This fills the frame with the colour and atmosphere, giving your image much more impact. Even slightly bare trees will look more effective like this, as each tree overlaps the other and Olympus E-M5, 20mm, ISO200 fills in the gaps. 9 Page four All text and images Craig Roberts

5 Animals 10 Autumn is synonymous with some interesting wildlife and you ll often see squirrels and deer, especially early in the morning in the woods and forests, or even the local parks. Head to somewhere like the New Forest and the horses and ponies that roam freely make great additions to your autumnal views. Most of these animals are used to humans being in close proximity so you can often get quite close. However, have your telephoto zoom set to maximum with a good fast shutter speed, ready to capture the subjects when they appear. 11 Abstracts The colours and patterns of autumn make great subjects to shoot as abstracts. You don t have to shoot the whole scene, but instead you can zoom in with you lens and pick out the smaller details within the wider view. You can either select the Landscape Picture Style to really saturate the colours, or the Faithful Style, for a subtle, muted look, depending on your desired result. Look up 12 If you re in a wood on a clear day with a blue sky above, then make the most of this by looking up as you shoot. You ll need a wide angle lens to capture the full scene and you can either lie flat on your back to take the picture at this awkward angle or use Live View on your camera to help frame the scene. This works great if your camera has a tilting LCD screen making this kind of shot a doddle. Let the camera expose naturally for the blue sky above and your images should be perfectly exposed. Page five

6 Portraits 13 You can incorporate the wonderful colours at this time of the year with your portraits too. Position your subject underneath the trees and use the autumn colours as a wonderful backdrop. Fit a flashgun, or pop up the built-in flash for a burst of light to fill in the shadows on your subjects face. Shoot from a low angle to make the most of the colours high up on the tree. Olympus E-M5, 20mm, ISO200. Fun with leaves 14 You can have lots of fun with the kids in autumn too and take some animated portraits of them playing in the leaves. They ll think it s a great idea to throw some leaves at you as you snap away. They have great fun and you ll be rewarded with brilliant action portraits. Again, fire the built-in flash to help freeze the action, but use manual focus, as your camera s autofocus could be confused by the approaching leaves and focus on them instead. Page six

7 15 Waterfalls Waterfalls make great subjects at any time of the year, but especially so in autumn. Often found in woodlands, the autumn leaves on the surrounding foliage, adds a nice splash of colour against the fast flowing water. Slow things down by putting your camera on a tripod and set the camera in aperture priority mode, with the smallest aperture set and then let the resulting shutter speed add an ethereal look to the now blurred water. Adding a polarising filter not only saturates the autumn hues, but also helps reduce the exposure and give you long shutter speeds even in bright light. Canon 5D, 70 Your local park 16 You don t have to travel far to shoot autumn, as there are fabulous colours on your own doorstop. Your local park is an ideal place to start shooting and the trees will be ablaze with colour and texture, making ideal subjects for your camera. Arrive early in the morning before the dog walkers and families arrive to enjoy the sights and spend a few hours shooting the best views. Use a zoom lens to isolate key compositions whilst at the same time cropping out unwanted distractions. Page seven

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