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Here are some fall photo tips that will help you better capture the essence of the season. Even if you're in another latitude and your climate is considerably different from ours in New York, you may still find valuable tips here. Our discussion of autumn photos often involves photographic techniques that are basic to good photography in general. So, whether you live in Australia or Oahu, Beijing or Boston, check out this page for ideas you may be able to use now or later.
Here's one of many fine fall foliage photos that we think captures the quality of "autumn."
First, what do we think of as typifying autumn?
The beginning of chill in the air.
The colorful reds and yellows of the leaves on trees.
The fall of the leaves from the deciduous trees at varying times — some earlier, some later.
Now, what elements are in this picture, taken of his beautiful daughter Lily by NYI Dean Chuck DeLaney, that shout "Autumn"?
Is there a chill in the air? We don't see the chill directly in this picture, but we do see it indirectly. How? By the heavy clothing little Lily is wearing. She's not in a snowsuit to befit winter. Or a bathing suit for summer. This picture tells us the temperature is somewhere in between — either spring or fall.
The leaves give the season away — one of the most obvious autumn photo tips is to include beautifully changing leaves in fall foliage photos
Clearly it's fall. The leaves on the trees across the water are yellow and red...and some are still green. So too are the leaves that have fallen to the ground.
From the hints in this picture, we can pinpoint the time-of-year even more precisely. Is it early fall...or late fall?
It's early fall! We know this because we can see that the trees across the water still hold most of their leaves. And the deciduous leaves we see on the right side of this picture are still green! In our part of the Northeast, this was probably taken the last week in September or the first week in October.
Of course, this is a lovely picture regardless of the season. It's a great portrait of Lily who is so captivated by the scenery that she's put aside her favorite Teddy Bear and is gazing in contemplation at the entire scene, thinking deep two-year-old thoughts. (Or is she just holding a pose because Daddy said: "Don't move!"? Chuck won't tell.)
Anyway, the green of the tree on the right provides a solid frame on the side, while the log and leaves in the foreground provide a frame on the bottom. Lily is large and up front, framed by these elements and clearly outlined by sharp focus against the soft-focus background.Not only does this photograph follow all of our autumn photo tips, but it adheres to rules of good composition as well.
And, of course, the colorful reflection in the water of the trees on the far shore adds a dimension of beauty to the entire image.
We think this is a wonderful picture that does all the things exquisite autumn photos should do. Above all, it uses the theme of "autumn" to add an element of time and place to the sensitive portrait that is its real subject.