How to take the ultimate autumn photo (and have yours featured by us)
The leaves are turning, the temperature is dropping, the nights are drawing in. But this is no time for hunkering down next to a crackling fire (there’s plenty of time for that in the coming months). Now is the time to grab your camera, or indeed smart phone, put on some boots and capture autumn in all its glory.
Autumn is the most spectacular season for photography, and we want to see your images. Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org with the location and a brief caption, or tag them on Instagram with #TelegraphTravel and we will feature our favourites in an online gallery.
But before you get started, a few words of wisdom from professional photographer Charlie Waite, founder of the Landscape Photographer of the Year awards and photography tour leader. He explains how to take the perfect photo and make the most of the autumn colours.
“Trust your instincts”
A photograph can ‘work’ in the same way as a piece of music, a sculpture, a poem or any artistic form of self-expression. Creative composition in any artistic discipline will often be the most tantalisingly difficult element to tie down: more often than not, it is simply an instinctive feel that the image ‘works’.
“Maintain your photographic integrity”
Maintain your photographic integrity and try to produce an image where the colour is as you have seen it. But do take advantage of factors such as weather conditions: with clearing skies after rain, for example, the atmosphere has been cleansed and colours will appear more vivid.
“The heat of autumn colours needs no exaggeration”
The sheer heat of autumn colours needs no exaggeration. Combining red, orange, amber and yellow could deliver a thrilling mosaic of tones. You could allocate equally proportionate importance to each colour, or perhaps consider which hue you would like to be most pronounced against the others.
“Water and autumn colour deliver numerous options”
Consider using different shutter speeds for water as the velocity of the water will dictate the effectiveness of your chosen shutter speed. Water can look especially magical if there remains a suggestion that it is in fact water. Turbulent water with all its chaotic froth may well exceed the ability of the sensor to embrace along with the darkest cavernous shadows. An original lost highlight is lost forever. Keep an eye out for any extreme contrast.
Try back-lighting for “true autumnal splendour”
Back-lit photography (in old money, ‘contre- jour’) offers a wonderful opportunity to convey true autumnal splendour. Some trees do not offer the vibrancy of their leaves that others do. I was looking at a chestnut tree the other day and thought it rather low-key.
“Research is often so worthwhile”
Perhaps, there is a powerful muscular branch somewhere that could look breathtakingly explosive when back lit. If we are photographers and we honour and relish our natural world, and the untold nuances that it offers us, then let us get out and be there to receive them.