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7 easy autumn photo tips

Autumn woodland is a gift to photographers, with vibrant colours, mists and golden light awaiting your lens. To help make the most of the season, acclaimed landscape photographer and head judge of the Landscape Photographer of the Year award, Charlie Waite, shares his top tips:

 Charlie Waite

1. Over-saturated?

If you want enriched saturation, try and make the image under morning and evening sun light which carries its own natural warmth. This would be better than introducing it artificially on a computer. The eye and brain are a formidable double act and they can detect an amber that appears too rich.

2. Go green and gold
Autumn leaves photo by Charlie Waite
If possible produce an image which suggests the transition from summer to autumn. A mix of a few yellow and green flecks can look lovely.

3. Be careful with filters
Try using a polarising filter but remember that whilst it will remove white light reflection from some surfaces (such as leaves) on one plane, it will fail to do so on another. Watch and observe carefully the effect that the polariser is having. Contrary to popular opinion the filter is not just for the sky; it will have a marked effect on the landscape.
4. Orange is not the only colour
Try not to give your image an 'amber soaking' and think subtle. Autumn does not always have to be conveyed in technicolour.
5. Reflect on water
Find water and seek out reflections of overhanging autumnal trees lit by bright sunlight. With a tripod, try some long shutter speeds - but not too long. Test different speeds.
6. Learn to love grey skies
Watch out for plain blue sky which can look monotonous and cold. A greyish sky as a backdrop can work well with warm colour in the foreground.
7. Delight in the detail

Expansive views can be very daunting so why not consider details that suggest autumn? If you want to choreograph an image with strategically positioned autumn leaves remember to think natural. You don’t want the viewer to be preoccupied with 'was the item placed there by hand or did it get there naturally?' Au naturel if you can.

Discover more woodland photo tips and handy downloads on our photography page.

arrowMore woodland photo tips


Charlie Waite

Charlie is a multi-award winning landscape photographer, who also runs photography travel company Light and Land.



Here's a beautiful autumn shot uploaded by our 2012 Photography Competition winner. Mike Stephenson, captured his winning image at Westonbirt Arboretum, one of our top 10 autumn woods.

arrowSee the results of the 2013 Photography Competition

Mike Stephenson's image of Westonbirt Arboretum

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