7 ideas to take your Autumn landscape photos to the next level

Tips & Techniques

Summer is finally over (for those of us who live in hot countries and hate hot weather this is a definite yeah!) and it’s pumpkin spice latte season again, otherwise known as Fall. In this video Toma Bonciu, or Photo Tom as he’s known, gives us a few tips on how you can take advantage of this time of year to take beautiful Autumn landscapes. And there’s not a decorative gourd in sight.

Toma walks us through some of his ideas to creating interesting autumn images, mostly based around the trees and forests in his homeland of Romania. Here are the main points he covers:

  1. Water streams into the forest. Often there is a colour cast to the water as it reflects the foliage so to separate the water from the forest background you can desaturate the water and add a hint of blue to it in post. You end up with a much darker body of water in relation to the colours of the forest. The other point Toma makes is to find an interesting foreground element. This could be a rock with autumn leaves to put in the foreground of the photo.
  2. Separate a tree from the forest. Find a tree that looks different from the rest, maybe it’s much smaller, an interesting shape, or a different colour from the rest. This is often more common on the fringes of a forest as the trees in the interior usually change colour later on. This is especially nice on foggy days when the fog creates a natural separation.
  3.  Capture darky, spooky, foggy forests. Create a spooky Halloween feeling by photographing forests in fog or mist.
  4.  Close-ups of trees. Use the dark branches to create interesting forms and compositions against the brightly coloured leaves.
  5. Fog and light. When the fog begins to dissipate on sunny days you can capture beautiful light rays through the forest. Position yourself so that the fog is backlit by the sun to create that magical atmospheric effect.
  6. Before sunrise. Arrive and set up at least 30 minutes before sunrise. In autumn and spring you are much more likely to capture a beautiful red sky before sunrise, so arriving early will increase your likelihood of colourful skies.
  7. Reflections. Find calm pools of water like lakes and capture the reflection of the autumn colours. Even if there are ripples on the water you can create some incredible abstract colourful images.

So there’s Toma’s ideas and tips for making the most of this season, outdoors with your camera. I’m off to find some colourful trees!

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