We had a pretty early fall here in Idaho this year. Some of the trees turned completely the first week in October. Seeing that trend I was out hitting my favorite dozen spots for fall colors right away.
So, now that it’s the first week in November fall is pretty much over and now I follow the leaves to my ground game! The basic rule with fall art photography is we look up—catching that great back light for fall colors at the beginning and then after the fall has happened then we look down for interesting leaf compositions on the ground!
I’m looking for colorful leaves on an interesting contrasting background like this….
f14.0 @ 1/250 sec., ISO 400; lens @ 48mm
When doing this style of photography I tend to stop down my lens—here I used f14.0—for maximum depth-of-field. With the leaves laying on the background you can’t knock the background out of focus without also making all the leaves soft as well.
Whatever the leaves have fallen on is just as important as the leaves themselves…
f13.0 @ 1/60 sec ISO 400; lens at 50mm
This rotted-out log was ideal as a natural container—after all the leaves came from this type of tree and now they’ve rejoined to fertilize the forrest floor. Aside from that symbolism I like the contrasting texture of the log against the leaves.
And what did I say about the absence of backlight at ground level?
f8.0 @ 1/250 sec., ISO 400; lens @ 200mm
Sometimes we can make that happen with the proper placement of a favorite leaf!
What helped here was the very thick above ground root system that allowed me to place that leaf so it caught the light of the setting sun. So, the leaf got nice back light and the tree roots got a great skimming side light to show their texture.
So, now I’m looking forward to winter weather. The snow is nice, but what I really like to photograph is the freezing fog. The ice crystals, created by freezing fog, that cling to everything makes the outside world look like a huge Christmas ornament! My favorite time of year…
I’m open to questions…’Til next week…
Author: Jerry W. Venz, PPA Master Photographer, Craftsman
Training site: http://www.LightAtTheEdge.com
Client site: http://www.TheStorytellersUsa.com
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