WALTHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Autumn is unequivocally one of the most spectacular times of year to capture nature’s seasonal beauty. Though it may seem impossible to shoot a bad photograph of fall’s crimson, yellow and gold hues, following a few good tips can help refine your technique to help you bring home memorable images. Expert landscape photographer Carl Heilman II, author of “The Landscape Photography Field Guide,” offers his foliage photography tips below:
1. It’s not which camera you have, it’s how you use it
Take control of your camera by understanding the basic principles of the shutter and aperture. Both vary the amount of light reaching the sensor to achieve the best image exposure, and both will affect how you view the foliage colors in your images. Shutter Priority can help control the effects of a subject’s motion, just remember that slow shutter speeds allow motion blur, while faster ones freeze action. When depth of field is most important, use Aperture Priority. Small aperture diameters like f/22 will provide the greatest depth of field.
2. Look beyond the leaves
Fall isn’t only about colored leaves. There are also an abundance of fall flowers, and butterflies and other wildlife are on the move. Look all around you – fall colors can be anywhere. Work with the subject details that are most interesting when framing your photo, and crop out anything that is distracting.
3. Bracket & tripod
When you need to shoot quickly, try “bracketing” a set of images. This means you shoot several images using different exposures so you’re sure to get a photo in which the color really pops! It’s easy to delete unneeded photos later, but impossible to recreate them! Working with a tripod keeps the camera still during long exposure times, and helps for learning and honing composition.
4. Check your lighting and adjust accordingly
In bright light with high contrast, photograph open landscape views where everything has a fairly similar intensity of light. When the light is overcast, softer and less contrasting, photograph the details of the woods and along streams. Use sunlight and the reflection created in bodies of water to your advantage.
5. Close one eye to evaluate composition
A camera sees with one eye, and records an image on a two dimensional surface. Closing one eye eliminates our sense of depth, allowing us to see the landscape as the camera does. Wide angle focal lengths help accentuate ‘dimension’. Compose an image so colors, contrasts and lines draw the eye from near to far in the photo to provide a sense of depth. Lenses with an extended zoom range offer more options for creative compositions. Visualize a subject with different focal lengths and from different viewpoints. Look for any unique features, and work with the dynamics of tonal contrasts to draw your eye around the entire image, making sure there are no distractions around the edge of the frame. Try a wide angle or fisheye lens for a unique perspective. Remember, it’s not what you see, but how you see it!
Designed for both amateur and advanced photographers alike, Focal Press’ “The Landscape Photography Field Guide offers practical, professional advice on how to capture the perfect scenic shot. The guide provides basic techniques for beginners looking to make their landscape photography shine as well as reference data for experienced photographers in the field. Focal Press’ author Heilman is an award-winning outdoor and national park photographer. The guide is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Elsevier booksellers. (ISBN: 9780240819228, $15.95)
About Focal Press
Focal Press has been a leading publisher of Media Technology books for 70 years. We provide essential resources for professionals and students in many areas including: film and digital video production, photography, digital imaging, graphics, animation and new media, broadcast and media distribution technologies, music recording and production, mass communications, and theatre technology.
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