Autumn has become an unpredictable event here in southern England. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. Our seasons have become increasingly mild and damp and generally speaking autumn requires a cold snap to kick-off the process. We haven’t had one of those yet and so it was unsurprising that when I visited a local woodland today, the trees hadn’t really converted themselves to the colourful spectacle we would hope to see. Never mind, some of them looked pretty good so our autumn photo walk was still productive. These excursions are ideal for everyone because the level of difficulty is low and the equipment required amounts to ‘just about anything, no matter how basic’. So don’t waste this time of year – get out with a camera and record what you see. Some locations/countries will be better than others, and if you live in New England (or similar) I’m hugely jealous.
Outings like this are perfect for skill building, whether we want to concentrate on technical aspects, or creativity. Primarily we get to think about composition and how we can use the light we find. In woodland the light level decreases but there will almost always be pools of light or at the very least areas of directional light which we can exploit. We might also look out for contrast within our scenes, such as an area with fairly low light but a bright subject. Experiment with your exposures – perhaps some scenes will look better underexposed. Get into the habit of taking control of your creative decisions rather than passively snapping away. We can also look for subjects with structure and shape – at this time of year mushrooms and toadstools are everywhere. As are ferns, leaves, branches ….