Autumn is upon us again. It can be a beautiful season if and when the conditions are right, and it can be a fun season to photograph.

Some of us like to drive to southeastern Oklahoma, or even fly to Vermont, to photograph autumn, but I am usually happy enough just prowling around our yard and pasture in Byng.

The tool that matters most for this is light, meaning that it’s hard to get really nice autumn photos at high noon. Think about dawn and dusk. Don’t be afraid of a little flare and ghosting. Use those to help express the scene.

Another took in the toolbox is our knees. It’s hard to get really nice images of leaves or spider webs or flowers looking straight down at them, often (but not always) resulting in a cluttered background. Get down to eye-level with that flower or fallen leaf. 

I also happen to prefer photographing people in the fall, too. The light is more forgiving and more flattering, and I like the clothes better. 

A word of caution: it’s easy to bore yourself and your friends by making pictures of foliage to show off your camera’s resolution or your cool new lens. Make an effort to create images that inspire us not with camera gear, but with some kind of narrative. Is your message about the cool air, the brilliant sunshine, the warm scarf, someone you love, someone you miss? Narrative, storytelling, is the most important thing we can do with our images.

Autumn is a beautiful time of year, so go out and make pictures, and, of course, have fun!

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