Fall Photo Ideas
Fall is a wonderful time for outdoor photography, as there are so many colors and textures. Whether you are looking for new ideas for personal or professional shooting, there is a lot of inspiration here for both backgrounds and props. You can mix and match many of the ideas here for single shots (i.e. apples on a bed of leaves). You can also incorporate multiple ideas into a photo session (i.e. backgrounds with trees as well as backgrounds with water).
I have purposely chosen photo examples without people so that you can more easily envision these backgrounds and props with a variety of different individuals.
There are so many ways that you can use these fall photo ideas.
Just a Few Possibilities
Trees are one of the most classic choices for fall photography, as there is such a rich variety of colors. Search out areas that are filled with a single color of leaves or switch it up and look for multiple colors. Consider different types of trees. Photographing areas with trees of different heights/ages can create visual interest. You don't need to include the entire tree in your photo. Focus on particular aspects of trees and shoot them from different angles.
Path In Between Trees
One of the basic rules of composition in photography in the leading line. There are numerous opportunities for capturing leading lines in nature throughout the year, including the fall. Leading lines can draw the eye in to a focal point or can create a visual narrative for a photo. Paths are one of the most obvious and effective leading lines for landscape shots. Seek out roads, sidewalks, and forest paths that are lined with trees.
Macro or Close Up of Leaves
Leaves are a great subject choice for macro or close up photography. If you are using a point and shoot camera, switch the camera to program mode and turn on the macro setting. It is the option that looks like a flower. Use the timer and ideally a tripod to get clear shots. I've linked several flower photography articles here, as many of the same principles apply to both flower and leaf photography.
- How to Photograph Flowers: Smartphone and Point and Shoot Macro Photography
Learn how to take great digital photos of flowers with these macro photography tips. This article includes camera tips, editing suggestions, and other considerations.
- Photography Ideas With Canon Powershot SX210IS - Flowers
Learn how to take beautiful pictures of flowers with the Canon Powershot SX210IS
Basic Flower and Macro Photography
Pumpkins make a perfect background or prop for fall photography. Look for different sizes and shapes. Consider squash as well. Again, look for varying sizes and shapes as well as colors. Local farmers markets are a great place to pick up different types of pumpkin and squash. If you don't want to invest in a lot of them, you may be able to shoot on location.
As with many of the food ideas here, corn can work as both a background (i.e. corn fields, a farm stand) or a prop. If you enjoy macro photography, look for ways to capture all of the detail in a single ear of corn. In addition to picked corn, seek out opportunities to photograph corn fields. Capturing the progression of corn growing can make a great photography series.
A Waterfall Among Changing Leaves
This will be one of the more challenging subject matters to find, but it is worth it if you have the opportunity. Vivid leaves contrast beautifully with clear, flowing water. Consider long, winding waterfalls, such as the one pictured on the right, as well as steep waterfalls with a dramatic flow. When there is a summer filled with ample rainfall, waterfalls will be full and flowing through the early fall.
The colors of fall lend themselves naturally to a variety of color study techniques. Consider methods for highlighting particular colors as background or focal colors. Don't be afraid to experiment with black and white photography for neutral color studies. Black and white is a natural choice for photo sessions with people, but it can be used for landscape and macro photography as well.
Color Workshop 2-3: Color Study Process, Nathan Fowkes Study #1
Water Reflection of Trees/Fall Colors
After you've shot trees and leaves on their own, look for opportunities to shoot them in reflection. Consider lakes, rivers, streams, and puddles. There is nothing wrong with the "wow" factor of a large, clear body of water, but don't discount a local stream or even a puddle after it rains. Look for opportunities to incorporate other natural or man-made focal points, such as a bridge or railing. Additionally, challenge yourself to set up fall photography shoot with a water reflection of something besides a tree.
Acorns are yet another great option for fall macro photography. Consider different backgrounds for them. Do you want something textured like the example on the right or are you looking for something smooth and completely neutral? Experiment with different possibilities to figure out what works best for you. If you can't find real acorns or are looking to change up your prop, make or purchase craft acorns, such as needle felted acorns.
There are lots of possibilities for photographing apples. Use them as a prop for a baby or child photography shoot. Create an apple backdrop for virtually any type of shoot. Create still life apple shoots. Head to the farmers market or an apple orchard for a location shoot. Look for apples of different varieties, sizes, and colors. If you're taking photographing at an apple orchard, consider the different aspects of picking apples, such as the buckets, rotting apples on the ground, and other orchard activities, such as picking berries or eating donuts.
More photography resources from the author.
- Fall Autumn Photography Props and Photo Shoot Ideas
This fall make your photography sessions complete with fun props, accessories, and backdrops. There are ideas here for babies, children, couples, and families including maternity and wedding options.
- Travel Film Photography: Advantages of and Tips for Shooting with Film While on Vacation
Shooting with film is a simple, fairly inexpensive way to view a new environment differently and challenge yourself while traveling. Pick up a camera and a few rolls for your next trip!
- How to Take Better Flower Pictures: Tips for Unique High Quality Photography
Are you working to improve your macro photography skills? Do you enjoy taking pictures of flowers and want to get better close up shots? Take the following tips to improve your pictures!
© 2012 Rose Clearfield
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