Northumberland Camera Club

Misty fields by Ivor Rackham.
Misty fields by Ivor Rackham.

This has to be one of the best times of the year for outdoor photographers.

The sun sitting lower in the sky casts long shadows and sets the landscape alight with a warm, yellow light that bounces off the gilded leaves. Those leaves fall, forming a gold and bronze carpet, and the gnarled shapes of the tree branches become evident.

The haze of the summer is gone and early morning mists shroud the fields. Birds begin their migration and mammals frantically prepare for winter. The first storms batter our coastline and the hills become gloomy and ominous.

Get your camera out!

Here are some suggestions to help with your autumnal photography.

1. Consider getting up early to capture the sunrise and the morning’s golden hour. The air is more clean and crisp in the morning than the evenings.

2. Plan your shot. Either check-out a place in person before the shoot, or use tools like The Photographer’s Ephemeris or Sollumis to see which direction the sun will rise or set.

3. Prepare your kit the day before. There is nothing more embarrassing than arriving at the location with no memory card or a flat battery.

4. Wrap up warm and 
tell someone where you will be.

5. Use a tripod, if only to slow yourself down to take time over the composition.

6. Don’t just shoot the obvious landscapes. Try to find unique subjects and different perspectives.

7. Take photos whatever the weather. Dark, wet mornings can look great, as can fog and long exposures in strong winds. Protect your camera though.

8. Keep it simple. Minimalist photos are usually more alluring than busy ones.

9. The complementary colour of orange is blue so autumnal leaves can really stand out against a crisp blue sky.

10. Look for patterns, lines and forms, and for interesting interruptions that break those.

11. For most landscapes, use a wide-angle lens.

12. Get down low to take that landscape shot.

That should be enough to keep your mind occupied while you creep out of bed, grab your camera bag and leave the house without waking the whole family.

I look forward to seeing your autumnal shots in the Northumberland Camera Club. Keep clicking.