My favourite time of year, closely followed by winter. Although this might be the other way around, it is so hard to choose, either way it goes without saying that summer is in last place and spring in third. This time of year the weather is cooler and atmospheric, there are vibrant colours in the forest and a high chance of fog clinging to the landscape.
I also find that I tend to restrict myself less to the outer edges of the day. At least for me, it is not only the sunrise and sunset hours that offer the best light, although upon writing this I feel that the more experience that I gather the more I feel that light can surprise me at any time of day.
To digress for a moment, an example of this can be seen with these three images. All taken recently from the same location of the same subject within seconds of each at roughly 1300h, on a day with low cloud, light fog and sunshine. I was out scouting for new locations and noticed that the cloud movement had lit up a patch of the hill side, and hoped that it would again, so I waited.
The first image shows how it looked without the light, the second as the cloud started to isolate the slope and the third as it hit.
The third is something special, an abstract image that needs a second look, a tear in the landscape.
Back to what I wanted to write about, autumn weather and the continuously changing conditions that can help so much with your composition. There are so many opportunities.
As with the next image, clear conditions can lead to bright variations of colour in the forest.
Fog and light rain can deepen the colours and add a shine to the leaves, the yellow, oranges and browns in this image change to gold and bronze against the darkness of the forest.
There is only a light fog in this images, but it still helps with the separation. It adds a feeling of distance to the trees at the back and intensifies the bokeh, which in turn helps to separate the leaves of the trees in the midground with those of the background even though these are the same colour.
I particularly like the next image, a shot that could only be possible with the weather conditions in autumn.
Foreground: The colour, dark reds graduating to yellows and greens drawing your eye in to the image.
Midground: The silver grey colouration of the trees and the fine branches gives a haunting skeletal feel to the image . The light falling through the centre of the trees, the variation in size and the smaller width pulls the gaze to the back of the image.
Background: Right at the very back, barely visible due to the darkness and denser mist are the evergreens. They lend a level texture that pulls your eye further into the image moving through the trees in the midground trying to find out whether there is something else there.
And then of course there are the mushrooms in all variations sprouting out of the dead wood of fallen branches and trees. I like to work with dark backgrounds and bokeh while also using an artificial light source to introduce some light.
Finally there is more fog again.
Fog and mist can open up so many opportunities, keep your eyes open and if something sparks your interest that is outside of what you expect, take some time to take a second look and give your imagination some space.
This abstract image needs a second look to see what it is. It is simply several tree trunks, but there was enough mist to remove all of the distractions that would normally be present and in the way for this image to work.
What's not to love about autumn.