Learning DSLR Photography: Autumn Colour and Light

autumn colourFall is, in my opinion, the most beautiful time of year here in Edmonton, and is normally much too brief. This year we were blessed with a full two months of changing colours and warm weather and I managed to take my camera out a few times to capture the magic. The sun is low in the sky at this time of year which made for some very dramatic lighting and made the gold tones of the leaves and grasses pop that much more. Of course, on the first day I went out the sun was behind the clouds and the colours weren't translating at all. Everything was coming out so drab that I almost lost heart. While I'm used to shooting on either aperture or shutter priority modes, this time I had to bust out the full manual mode and play with the settings until I got something I liked. I was using low apertures at first to get a wide depth of field, but after reading that lower shutter speeds would help with the colours I had to use somewhat higher apertures to compensate, since I didn't have a tripod. I experimented, changing the settings by increments until I got something I liked. I was thankful for the warm weather as I sat there taking picture after picture. Normally these kinds of fussy technical tasks don't agree with me but I totally lost track of time playing with composition and colour.

When the sun did come out I had so much fun playing with light - especially on the river. At this time of year the river is low and smooth like glass and makes  a great mirror for our huge prairie sky.

These shots are my favourites from the hundreds that I took over the last couple of months. Most were not edited at all and the few that were just needed the colour saturation bumped up a little to show off the amazing colours. Enjoy!

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This fall was even more beautiful than usual because there was so much variety in the pace of the colour change. I found a pocket of green leaves and grass not far from the oranges and yellows of the river valley. In other parts of the city I saw streets where one side was yellow and the other was green, with a few trees that had already shed all their leaves thrown into the mix. Even some individual trees had a mix of both yellow and green leaves. autumn colourautumn colour

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Some people need the ocean, some need the mountains. I need the sky.

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At this point most of the leaves in the forest had already fallen, though there were a few hangers on here and there.

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How much fun did I have playing with my shadow on these stairs? autumn colourautumn colour

My mom's beautiful backyard. She said the tree dropped all its leaves in one day. autumn colourautumn colour

My favourite colour combination in nature and fashion.

What season is your favourite? What do you find most beautiful about where you live?