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Photographing Autumn Leaves Outside And Indoors

Photographing Autumn Leaves Outside And Indoors - Make the most of the autumnal shades and have a go at some close up work with leaves.

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Category : Close-Up
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This is a subject that can be photographed indoors as well as out which means you can still shoot autumn-themed images even when the weather's turned autumnal.

One thing that's important no matter if you're shooting indoors or out is your leaf selection. Make sure you find samples which have different patterns and shapes so each shot you take is different. Don't select leaves that are too thick as light won't be able to shine through them and don't always go for leaves which are perfect as the odd imperfection can add interest to your shot. 

Leaf

Gear Checklist:


1. Macro Lens -  A lens such as the Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Di VC USD MACRO 1:1 will get you close to your leaf / leaves you're working with but you can add on an extension tube or coupling rings on two lenses to get you closer to the detailing on the leaf.

2. Tripod & Remote Release - They will help prevent shake from spoiling your shot. Your camera's self-timer can be used if you don't own a remote release.

3. Polarising filter – It'll help saturate your colours, giving blue skies more punch.

Outdoors:

The 'golden hours' boost autumnal shades, making oranges more fiery and reds more vibrant but try to avoid heading out on windy mornings as the smallest of breezes can make a leaf move so you need the air to be still before you take your shot. If you don't, the movement can cause your shot to be blurry. If you find your autumnal shades still need a little boost try switching white balance modes to see if it boosts the colours in your frame.

Search for backgrounds that will make your subject 'pop' and, in a way, frame them. For example, out of focus green foliage will contrast the orange and red shades of autumnal leaves perfectly. If the leaves are a little high up to use foliage as a background just work on a day when the sky is blue and free of cloud and use that as your background for your shot.

Try to avoid clutter as you don't want your background to pull attention away from your subject. You probably will be using larger apertures to throw the background out of focus but if an item in the background is reflecting sunlight, for example, the bright spot of light will still pull your viewer's attention away from your autumn study.

If you're planning on back lighting leaves, which can bring out the detail of the veins as well as adding a highlight to the edge of the leaves to make them 'pop' from your shot, fit a lens hood  to help prevent flare if you can't find a spot that gives you the light you need to back light your leaves without facing the sun straight on. 

Indoors:

If you have a lightbox, you can lay your leaf on it, position your camera above it and shoot away but for those who don't own one, simply make use of one of the windows in your house.

Get a piece of tape and stick a leaf to the window, making sure the glass is free of smears and marks first. Then you just need to put your tripod and camera in place and start shooting.

The back light will highlight the leaves and really help the detail in the leaf stand out. The autumn shades will be more vibrant and as there's no breeze, you can spend as long as you like composing and taking your shots. 
 
(Photo by David Clapp - www.davidclapp.co.uk)


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