Sunday, 25 November 2012

Photographing autumn foliage

Words and images by Danielle Lancaster

For the past ten days I have been visiting Japan during the changing of the leaves as autumn kicks into full swing. Japan is renowned as one of the best places on Earth to witness the colours of autumn. While many of the locals are saying this year the colours are not at their best, the sea of golden yellows, oranges and reds have for me been a thrill to see and photograph.

Colour is an important compositional tool in photography and we use it in all genres. Colour can tell a story, therefore the placement of colours in the image is very important.

When photographing the colours of autumn try using the strongest colours in the foreground as this will really grab your viewer’s full attention. Look for patterns and line to connect elements from the foreground to the background.

 Red is a stronger colour then green or yellow.
The image above is not as dynamic as the red is in the background while the
image below is more dramatic as the red is now in the foreground.

Find colours that are complementary, this is easy in autumn. For example: brilliant yellow leaves contrast against a bright blue sky. Try looking to the ground for a red leaf on green grass or against a pile of yellow leaves can make for striking images.
Keep your images simple. Minimalism is powerful so look to isolate a tree or leaf to make a strong focal point.

I generally find underexposing my autumn images brings out the vibrancy and gives the colours the saturation level as seen by our human eye.

We’ll have more tips for photographing autumn coming up both here on our blog and on You-tube.

For more information on the Bluedog Autumn in Japan Photography Tours please visit or email us at

1 comment:

Brisbane wedding hair said...

Even though the colours of autumn in England are stunning, nothing compares to the palette served up by Japan....