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Posted in You | October 2013

Shoot like a pro

photography tips
There’s nothing quite like the pride you get from taking that perfect shot when the light is just right, the subject is framed perfectly and nobody is blinking. When the stars align, it’s magic! And when you have fall’s natural splendor or some Halloween hi-jinx as your subject matter, it’s nearly impossible to go wrong!

But because a little artistry and knowledge always helps, we’ve compiled 10 tips for taking fabulous fall photos.

  1. Know when to shoot. Obviously if you’re taking photos at a family event, you have to snap when the action is happening. But if your aim is to plan a photo shoot, choose “the golden hour”, if possible. That’s the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. The light is softer, warmer and just more magical during these two hours of the day.
  2. Get in close. A shot of an entire tree cloaked in blazing red leaves is stunning, but a close-up shot of just one or two leaves can be an artistic masterpiece.
  3. Use a tripod. By stabilizing the camera and not relying on a steady hand, you’ll be able to keep your pictures sharp, especially in low light.
  4. Make it a combo. Choose shots that combine different colors of fall foliage, especially if you can frame them against a vibrant blue sky. Contrasting colors add interest and vibrancy to photographs.
  5. Reflect on it. Fall leaves look great on the trees, but when they’re reflected in lakes, streams and even in puddles they take on a mystical quality that makes for an amazing photograph.
  6. A magnificent tree in your own backyard can be a great subject, but you’ll find all kinds wonderful and beautiful things to photograph if you explore a little. Take a walk through your local park, drive to a lake or conservation area, or visit farmer’s markets and fall fairs.
  7. Frame it. Be thoughtful about what you’re shooting and make sure your subject matter is the clear focal point. But remember that doesn’t necessarily mean putting it right in the centre of the shot. In fact, the rule of thirds states that when your subject matter is slightly off centre, it’s actually much more visually interesting. Aim to have your subject just one third of the way into the picture space, either from top to bottom or left to right.
  8. Use props. There’s nothing wrong with helping things along by adding props, especially if you’re photographing kids. Adding pumpkins, hay bales or scarecrows to the scene can add visual interest and help set the mood.
  9. Don’t worry about the clouds. An overcast day can still be a perfect day to snap some great fall shots. Shadows are softer on cloudy days and the sun isn’t washing out all that vibrant color.
  10. When you’re trying to photograph a jack-o-lantern, sometimes a candle isn’t quite enough light. Stick a flashlight inside the pumpkin and angle the shot so you can’t see it. Voila—perfectly lit pumpkin!

For more fall photography tips visit Digital Photograph School, How Stuff Works and PhotoJojo.

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