The punchy shades of autumn give a photographer the perfect opportunity to capture images with a much more arty feel. For those who enjoy playing around with Photoshop there's a way to turn your autumn forest shots into streaks of bold colour in a few easy steps, or you can create a similar look in-camera if you prefer. If you're out on a breezy day there's a third way you can create autumn abstracts by capturing the movement of leaves.
1. Move Your Camera And Lens
This technique is better know as a drag landscape and we have tips on how to do this in a previous article we published back in the spring. To summarise, you set the exposure going then drag / pan the camera in a particular direction. By doing so the trees will be turned into strong lines of colour that give a twist to the normal autumn shot.
You can also focus in on the leaves and play around with your panning directions to create movement in the image. Moving in a circular motion can work particularly well when you're working with the canopy which tends to have less prominent lines and hard edges. Experiment with the size of the circle you 'draw' as again, this will alter the shapes in the image.
2. Create The Look In Photoshop
If you've got a few autumn shots hiding away in your computer's folders you can recreate the look the above technique creates in Photoshop. For step-by-step tips on how to do this, take a look at this tutorial: Abstract Autumn Shots In Photoshop
While you have Photoshop open, why not turn your Autumn drag landscapes into a Triptych too?
3. Take Your Images On A Windy Day
Instead of worrying about wind movement of trees spoiling your shot, take advantage of the weather and emphasise the movement. A long exposure will render the autumn leaves into a creative blur. If you're going for a landscape shot where trees are featured but you do have other parts of the scene you don't want to be so blurred, do make sure you take plenty of images as you don't want to head home and find out nothing was actually sharp in frame. You can then just delete the ones you don't want to keep. You will also have to experiment with shutter speeds to ensure you get movement in the leaves but not in other parts of the image. You could achieve the desired result with multiple exposures, too.