The fascinating colors of autumn
Autumn is a great time to go out and take awesome shots. We've invited some of our experts in this niche to share with us their thoughts on this topic. Thank you for your great stories and tips, Andrei Stancu, Darius Strazdas and Rdonar.
1. What is Fall to you?
Rdonar: Fall for me represents mainly the birth of a new day in misty darkness. As a born child.Usually I climb up somewhere in misty night and then wait for the first sun rays in thick mist, watch the horizon, check again if camera is ready, listen to the hooting of the rutting stags and the grunting of the wild boars. Do you know how strangely silent could the world be in this time? How loud could the sound be when a drop of dew fall on the ground?
Darius Strazdas: If I think about fall and photography, I imagine first lots of colors of tree leaves, of course.
The second would be long shadows, it really helps even taking photos in the daytime. And also, there are very beautiful clouds during this season, so the fall is a brilliant time for landscapes photography.
Andrei Stancu: For me Fall is a border between two states of nature: animation after the spring awakening and preparation for winter sleep. And I will strengthen this love for autumn with the following verses of a mountain song that I really like: Crazy Forest (Padure nebuna, you must listen it to understand the beauty of sadness)
A whole summer the forest kept me
With the face in the grass and thinking about elsewhere
And now, in the autumn, on departure
Sigh because I'm breaking off from her heart and that hurts.
2. How do you find the best locations to shoot autumn?
Rdonar: I like daybreak views over leaves forests or afternoon long lazy walks along rivers in deep valleys. The fall changes the colors of trees each day, weather condition is usually changing quickly, so every day I could create different photos. Sometimes I have to switch off my camera, hold breath and just silently watch.
DS: I live in a country that has lots of beautiful lakes, rivers, and forests so there are many placesto go.
AS: First of all, I don't go in a location especially to take pictures (not now, maybe sometime in the past), I'm going to fill my soul with the beauty of colors and the surprises that autumn can give you, such as a forest in the fog and above it a sea of clouds. About some locations I've read and seen photos in travel journals, and others I discovered through the luck of being there at the right time. I love the valley of the Olt river and the Cozia mountains from Romania in autumn due to the diversified color of deciduous forest and the fog. Mist appears more frequently in valleys, where the temperature is lower and higher humidity. I also love the villages from Rucar-Bran pass which offers you the connection between the autumn in the villages and the winter in the mountains. The tricky part is that you have to be there when the fall is at its moment of glory, not too early and not too late after the leaves have fallen. And not every year is in the same period, sometimes I chased it for a few weekends or make some phone calls. And sometimes I missed the moment but I enjoyed the hiking or I enjoyed traveling with my loved ones and intercourse with the village people and observing their life. So you must fall in the fall and if you fail, enjoy the moment: there are other autumns but the moments are unique.
3. Autumn landscapes, close-ups of leaves and seasonal fruits/vegetables or portraits? What do you prefer?
DS: I prefer landscapes. I like walking and sightseeing, I know lots of places to go for a goodlandscape and I'm not bored with it yet :)
AS: I prefer autumn landscapes because you can see the full greatness of this season: a foggy forest, colored green, yellow, red and ferruginous mountains, peasants working at hay and the sheep turned home, smoke from the fires made to burn the leaves.
4. How do you photograph in misty and foggy conditions? What tools do you use?Rdonar:I think, for the right fall photos an effort is necessary. The effort to get up in the middle of the night and early morning in the heavy mist and carry the heavy backpack to the location. Then, sweaty, frozen and blinded by mist, just wait for the Nature exhibition.
DS: Well... mist is different. The distance, the whole landscape I'm going to take. I usually use UVor CPL filter. But many times I shoot just right, without any filter. Tripod is necessary for many circumstances.
AS: For misty and foggy conditions, I use only o shower head, that one you find at hotels, which I use to cover the camera and I keep the camera in the bag with the zipper pulled.
5. When is the best time to shoot?
DS: For me the best time to shoot is in the morning. I say so because I like fog and it's usually the bestin the morning. But I like evenings also, especially those after the rain and with soft light.
AS: I think the best time to shoot is in the morning or in the evening when the light is good and the fog is there (when the thermal mass inversions are observed). But I also like it in the middle of a clear day, when you can enjoy the warmth of the sun and you can shoot the light falling on the leaves or the life of the villagers preparing for the winter.
6. Do you add special filters in post-processing or you just leave the original colors?
DS: I don't think there are original colors in photography at all. Original colors are only at themoment I see it with my eyes. The camera sees the object through the lens and it's automatically an interpretation of colors. I try to recover the whole atmosphere from my mind and sometimes just create what I like.
AS: In post processing I don't use special filters, I only play with contrast and brightness and very rarely with hue. Sometimes if you exaggerate with processing you lose the beauty and the feeling of the mist in the forest.
7. What's the most recommended equipment to shoot the Fall?
Rdonar: Equipment for fall photos? Yes, of course, the lens and camera with weather resistant construction are very welcome. Also stable tripod with spikes and remote control for camera are useful. And dry underwear and trekking boots are great too :)
DS: Full frame camera, a few lenses like wide one, walk around and zoom, some filters like UV, CPL and ND (ND is the must for me) and a good and handy tripod.
AS: I don't know what's the most recommended equipment but I can tell you what I use. Because most of the time I combine photography with hiking I use my camera with an all-around 18-200 lens. If I don't hike I have with me the rest of my equipment (tripod, Nikon 35mm f2.8, Sigma 105mm f2.8, Tokina 11-16mm f2.8) and I use them depending on the occasion and the perspective.
8. Your favorite shot of the Fall?
DS: Let's say this one:
Hard to choose one, because fall is my favorite time toshoot. This one is a real accidental lucky moment. I followed my instincts, not my mind. I changed my trip at least two times that morning and found a nice object, quite soft sunrise sun and little mist.
AS: My favorite shoot? Hmm hard to say, please let me choose two.This one:
and the version of hue:
9. What's your favorite memory of autumn?
Rdonar: Once, few years ago, I was on the view point in rocks with six or more others photographers. Few of them spent on the view point the whole night with photographing of starry sky and taking long exposure photos when the mist began form bellow in the valley. The big Nature show started few minutes before daybreak. The gentle wind shook with big misty clouds in valley from side to side, sun changed colors of the sky from blue to purple and finally when the sky was bloody red, the first rays appeared at the horizon. We were wet from the thick mist and sweaty from quick photographing. Incredible morning.The whole time between us photographers, there was an older guy with hands in his warm jacket pockets who smiled all the time. Without camera, phone or another photo stuff. Just smiled. I asked him later why he climbed here without camera and what was the reason of his smile. He told me that he always in conditions like this took photos. That day he came only to enjoy the morning. Enjoy the nature show for his own eyes. Not anything else. I think of that man's words often.
DS: Actually, it could be almost any time I was going on shooting this season. I leave and forget everything during those moments. I get free and immerse myself in the light and odor, I can't imagine anything better than to endure those moments.
AS: My special moment spent in the autumn is a hiking trip to Cozia Mountains in Romania. I climbed to the peak where in the evening I caught a beautiful foggy sunset with the mountains ridges on the horizon and in the morning it was a bright sun and a blanket of clouds beneath us. As we descended, we walked into the blanket of clouds where we found a wonderful foggy forest. That was a gift, because that was what we dreamed of when we planned the trip.
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