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Tips and tricks

Photography of autumnal themes

Tips and tricks

Autumn is one of the favourite seasons of photographers, however, the character of its months differs widely. September is similar to the passing summer, October is the period of the orgy of colours, the foggy, often rainy November represents the more moderated range of colours and its occasionally inclement weather prepares us for the winter. The early autumn presents macrophoto lovers with some beautiful flowers such as the Marsh gentian (Gentiana pneumonanthe), Sand crocus (Colchicum arenarium), Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale) and the numerous species of Asters which are the last laid tables of the insects’ world before the winter comes. Autumn is the mating season of the Red deers (Cervus elaphus) and the Fallow deers (Dama dama), and it is the season of bird migration too, offering countless exciting themes for animal photographers. Those who are interested in landscape photography can also make a profit from the season The bushes and trees are turning colourful, the dawn and the dusk are more fire red than usual, often spectacular clouds are floating in the sky. The glittering dew and the sparkling hoarfrost clothes the land and its details, highlight its shapes. The rainy, damp, foggy periods offer different, less colourful but more mysterious photo themes. A good pair of hiking boots, and waterproof and warm clothing do a good service. Take your photo kit and off we go to the mountains, valleys, forests and fields and watersides!
Photo: © János Szekeres

Nikon D1x, Nikkor 600 mm f/5.6 1/60 sec f/5.6 ISO 400

Fallow stag

At the end of September me and a friend of mine went out to the field to photograph stag rutting. We arranged our hide tent and sat in to wait for the events. When the last rays of sun shone upon the glade this goodlooking fallow stag stepped out of the bush. The sunshine glistened nicely on his antlers and hair. He was watching our tent nervously, ready to jump away. I managed to take a few pictures of him before he ran back to the woods. The white balance set on cloudy weather gave back the most nicely the original shades of colour.

Foggy forest I.

Photo: © Árpád Krivánszky

Canon EOS 30D, EF 28-105 mm f/3,5-4,5 8 sec f/14 ISO 100
In September a bit “tired” green is the dominating colour of the leave which looks nice in the fog. At this time we should not expect neither vivid colours, nor sharp lines as both are softened by the mist. In contrary, it strengthens the sense of space as we can see more details of a tree which close to us and farther everything are gradually lost in the mist. The viewer is presented with the sense of mystery: to suspect things is often more exciting than to see everything in meticulous details. I tried to find a detail from the forest of Pilis where the ground slopes and I like to show the stock of the trees, I do not like to “cut” their trunk. It is worth positioning the tripod until the location of tree trunks start to show some harmony in the viewfinder and it will not do any harm if we compose a bit thicker, more dominating tree trunk at the vertical trisection lines.

Light-spotted pinewood

Photo: © Árpád Krivánszky

Canon EOS 30D, EF 28-105 mm f/3,5-4,5 1/6 sec f/14 ISO 400
The evergreen pinewood does not show a typical, autumnal atmosphere even at autumn, except in certain lighting conditions. Early morning or late afternoon the reddish light of the rising or setting sun dyes the bark of the pine trees and the soil of the forest in stripes and the warm coloured light spots evoke the autumn. But we have to be careful if the light is too contrasted as in this case the sunlit spots burn out or if we underexpose then it can result in dark, undetailed parts. If the light is strong but its colour is still nice we can try out the HDR: most photo processing software is able to edit a picture free from under or overexposure out of series of pictures made with different exposure values.

Red-belly clouds

Photo: © Árpád Krivánszky

Canon EOS 30D, EF 28-105 mm f/3,5-4,5 1/125 sec f/13 ISO 100
We can often see low-floating clouds in the autumn. If we are lucky, then a wide gap opens around the sun at dusk. At that time the sun is in a very low position or even getting under the horizon and illuminates the belly of the clouds with orange or reddish light. These bright fields are in strong contrast with the other, shady parts which can give a dramatic effect to our picture. After sunset we have to be quick as the phenomenon only last for one or two minutes due to the low position of the clouds.


Photo: © Árpád Krivánszky

Canon EOS 30D, EF 28-105 mm f/3,5-4,5 1/13 sec f/9 ISO 250
The forest streams such as the stream of Apátkút which runs from Pilisszentlászló to Visegrád present nice reflections for nature photographers. Pictures can be taken in which the original and the mirror image can be seen together, but for me showing only the reflection was more exciting. The funny sight of the upside down trees is closed by the rocky stream bed at the top, and the flowing water ruffles the reflection. The blue sky is neighboured with the golden colour of the yellow leaves, the light surfaces are harmoniously divided by the heavy darkness of the tree trunks.
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