Follow this asvice to get the very best shots of the season
Tip 4: Isolate Colors and Detail
Ausable River, Adirondack State Park
Tripod-mounted K.B. Canham DLC45 view camera with 450mm f/9 Nikon Nikkor-M lens; 4 sec at f/45 on Kodak Ektachrome 100VS film.
create compelling images by photographing autumn color—but not the trees—reflected in water. In the photo above, the foliage of the trees on the opposite bank was sunlit; the water, was in shadow, so I was able to create color contrast between the warm tones and the rocks lit by cooler light from the blue sky.
For an even more impressionistic effect, photograph reflections in blurred moving water, such as a fast-flowing brook or mountain stream, or rippled lake water on a breezy day. Experiment with exposures of 1/2 sec or longer to capture a pleasing amount of motion blur. Don’t go too long, though, to avoid smoothing out the water and reflections too much. Zoom in with a telephoto lens to exclude all but the most colorful reflections in the water; rapids and boulders can help enhance the scene.
When photographing reflections, a polarizing filter can help to bring out the colors if you dial it up only slightly—a little bit of polarization can enhance the scene, but too much can reduce or eliminate reflections.
While you’re zooming, look for intimate still-life images. A 70–200mm lens (for full frame) is perfect for such scenes. I like to capture the details that help tell the story of the changing of the seasons. Look to zero in on a distant autumn hillside, dew-covered leaves carpeting the forest floor, or just a dash of fall color reflected in a still lake.
Don’t focus all your efforts on trees—plenty of other flora, such as ferns, blueberry bushes, and other ground plants, take on autumn hues. Pattern photos of bracken ferns are an autumn classic; ripening berries are also another cue that fall is in the air.