A guide to beautiful autumn photography.
As the long, lazy days of summer gradually give way to cooler temperatures and vibrant displays of colour, autumn is most definitely the best season for anyone who loves to take photographs outdoors. There is something about the magic of nature’s transition which I find truly mind-blowing every single year. Even though I know it’s going to happen, it always manages to take my breath away.
The striking palette of golden hues, fiery reds, and deep oranges are a stunning natural backdrop, which makes this a perfect moment to dust off your camera and capture some beautiful photographs, whether it’s of your family and friends, or the amazing autumnal scenery.
As an outdoor family photographer, this is hands down my favourite time of year, so I’ve gathered together some tips and inspiration for anyone who wants to pick up their camera or smartphone and head into the great outdoors this autumn.
Autumn photography is all about capturing the rich and warm seasonal tones and the Yorkshire Countryside is great at showcasing this in all its glory. But you do not have to travel far. Everywhere around us we can see the changes in the natural world whether you are deep in the Dales, at the local park with your children, or sitting in your own back garden. Sometimes we just need to slow down and take the time to notice that tree on the street corner coming alive in a spectacle of bright yellow and orange.
The most beautiful blue skies are great for lifting spirits, but bright sunlight can be unflattering and harsh. On sunny days, I always hunt out shade when I’m photographing families because this is much gentler and kinder for portraits. Autumn is a season of change, and the weather often reflects this. If you can embrace this unpredictability, you can definitely use it to your advantage. Misty mornings can be dramatic, windy days can create energetic swirling leaves for example. And never be afraid to venture out during overcast days; the clouds are a natural diffuser and can create a unique and moody atmosphere.
If you want some candid relaxed photographs of your family, make it fun! In autumn you need look no further than the ground beneath your feet, often covered with colourful crunchy leaves. Simply pile them up and let the children and grown-ups loose among them. Playing among the fallen leaves is a fantastic way to create and to capture natural expressions and genuine laughter.
Autumn is a treasure trove of textures, patterns, and colours of all sorts of things from leaves and acorns, to pumpkins.
My mission every October is to find the most unusually shaped and colourful pumpkins which make a great photographic background. Look up through the trees, look down at the ground. Change your point of view from your usual standing position to create visually engaging autumn photographs. My advice would be to get right down on the ground for a more interesting perspective, especially if you are photographing little ones.
One of the beauties of digital photography is that you can see the image straight way; brilliant for experimenting and perfecting your composition. Use leading lines, such as paths or fallen tree trunks, frame your subjects with overhanging branches or colourful foliage to add depth.
Golden hour is a brilliant time to take photographs. It is the period shortly after sunrise or just before sunset which has a beautiful quality of soft, warm light that enhances natural colours. During the autumn months, this is even more magical as the colours can be so dramatic. And an added bonus is that the shorter days mean you don’t have to rise too early or wait too late in the day to capture the magic.
These are my top tips for making the most of this coming season. So, grab your camera, immerse yourself in nature’s splendour, and let your creativity run wild as you document the breathtaking beauty of autumn.
Andrea Thornton Photography
Tel. 07762 111818