Capturing Autumnal Colours

Autumn is perhaps the most photogenic of the seasons with all of the colours, those stunning warm gold and copper tones. Can also get those misty and dewy mornings, but I am not so much of an early bird for photography!

Me and two friends heading to Greenwich at the weekend to capture the foliage for Autumn. Greenwich Park is a fantastic location, not just for the trees but the people in the royal park as well.

Our response to colour is sophisticated and used well it can be the most powerful element in a photograph. The sensation of colour is multilevel, evoking a mixture of physical, physiological and psychological components.

To capture colours, we should understand the terminology associated with colours

Hue: fundamental quality of colour, what gives colour its uniqueness, the graduation of colour

Primary Colour: one of the spectral colours cyan (blue), magenta (pink), or yellow that can be subtracted from white light to match any other colour. An equal mixture of the three produces black pigment.

Saturation: is the intensity of the colour or chroma, with pure at one end of the scale and more grey at the other end. Fully saturated colours are rarer, only found in quite localised situations, such as flowers.

Brightness: manipulation of hue for how light or dark the precise tone is. The shade remains the same even when the intensity changes.

Some of the best tips I have for capturing autumn colours are:

  • Slight underexposure increases the intensity of hues, but too much overexposure can make hues paler by reducing the primary colour of the tint.
  • Best to shoot in Sunny or Cloudy white balance to capture the depth of colours and to combat the possible cool tone of the image
  • Shoot in Raw; you get the most out of your sensor
  • Use an ISO as low as possible (around 100 if you can)
  • Look for contrast!
  • Try macro photography, getting close to any patterns in leaves or hanging dew droplets
  • Try shooting from different angles including high and low shots. This type of perspective can make a unique scene
  • Keep an eye on your composition! Remember the rule of thirds, leading lines, symmetry, patterns and balancing elements in mind

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