Getting Ready to Shoot Autumn

Choosing a Dress - Varina Patel

When I was a child, autumn was my favorite season. I loved the appearance of the first colored leaves – and the inevitable explosion of red and gold as the maples shifted their hue. And shooting fall foliage is so much fun. 🙂 I love to take my camera out into the woods – Cuyahoga Valley National Park is near our home – and photograph the beautiful leaves.


Under a Perfect Sky - Varina Patel

Blue and gold are complimentary colors, so autumn landscapes can really pop. You can use a circular polarizer to bring out rich colors in the sky and in the leaves themselves. Watch for uneven polarization if you are using a circular polarizer filter on a wide-angle lens.


Colorado, USA

Look for simple compositions in the woods, where the scene can feel cluttered with distractions. Look for repeating patterns and colors, and use them to help simplify your photos for a more appealing finished product.


Bosque del Apache Wildlife Preserve, New Mexico

I like to use long exposures on blustery autumn days. Doing so creates motion blur, and the shifting colors and patterns can be really appealing. Don’t put your camera away when the wind comes up. Instead, see if you can create something unique.


Ohio, USA

I love using rivers and streams as leading lines in my photographs. When you are working with a very busy scene, leading lines can help lead the viewers eye through the image, and provide a place to rest.



Autumn is a great time to pay close attention to details, too. Look for interesting patterns and textures, and pay close attention to your background. Use the negative space to create a sense of place and create a mood.

Aspen Leaf on Marble



About Author Varina Patel

There is nothing more remarkable to me than the power of nature. It is both cataclysmic and subtle. Slow and continuous erosion by water and wind can create landscapes every bit as astonishing as those shaped by catastrophic events – and minuscule details can be as breathtaking as grand vistas that stretch from one horizon to the other. Nature is incredibly diverse. Burning desert sands and mossy riverbanks… Brilliant sunbeams and fading alpenglow… Silent snowfall and raging summer storms… Each offers a unique opportunity. I am irresistibly drawn to the challenge of finding my next photograph, and mastering the skills required to capture it effectively.