Fallen leaves will be everywhere in the autumn, so why not make the most of them and use them in your seasonal shots?
If the shapes of the leaf are your focus, try and focus on just one. You can shoot where you find it or try taking it home so you can work indoors without wind and other elements causing problems. If you have a lightbox, place your leaf on it to make the veins and other details really stand out. You can also try focusing on the tip or stalk of one leaf or focus on the centre of one so blur creeps in at the edges.
Leaves in piles or groups can look equally as good as leaves on their own. A blanket of leaves around the trunks of trees will make a great shot that really sums up autumn.
If you are doing the arranging, try and get a mix of varieties and if you can, wait until the next morning to photograph them as they'll be covered in droplets of morning dew, adding an extra level of interest to your shots.
As temperatures fall you can capture fallen leaves that are frozen in puddles or dusted with frost but until then, try collecting a few leaves and freezing them yourself at home. Simply place them into a shallow tray of water and put it in the freezer. Once frozen, remove and shoot close-up abstracts of the shapes and bubbles that form in the ice as it melts. Small apertures, around f/22, will give you greater depth-of-field so you'll be able to shoot patterns right through the ice. Check your camera's meter reading and if needs be spot meter from the leaf so the camera doesn't get confused from the light shining off the ice.
Playing In The Leaves
Fallen leaves also give you the chance to take some great seasonal portrait and pet shots. Fast shutter speeds will freeze the action, while slower ones will give a hint of motion blur to exaggerate the feel of fun and movement.
If you're in the market for a new camera for a limited period you can claim
an M.Zuiko 45mm Portrait lens worth £279.99/€329.99 for free when you purchase an Olympus OM-D E-M5.
Available from selected stockists including all Olympus Elite Centres before 31st December 2012.