Leaf Resting on Granite
We here in Nova Scotia are particularly fortunate in that our four seasons give us wonderful opportunity for interesting photographs the year around. Fall is a great time to be out and about and the autumn foliage show is just about to start. It does take some preparation to be ready to take great fall images, so I thought a post about fall photography was in order.
The two biggest tips I can give are these:
1. Buy and use a good, stable tripod
2. The one filter you should have
A tripod for me is essential. For one thing, with the superb detail of high megapixel cameras you really need steadiness to help show off that amazing quality. My go to tripod is a set of Gitzo legs made of carbon fibre, so they are light and sturdy. I put on top of this a Manfrotto ball head. The ball head allows one to shoot in any direction and with just a twist of the clamp tighten to steadiness at almost any angle. I see many beginning photographers struggling with this, and even a few using improper video heads (that usually have little handle instead of rotating clamps). A good ball head makes it so easy to place the camera at any angle and hold it there securely. I travel with a slightly less sturdy tripod when we fly somewhere, but even then, I have a very good ball head on those flimsier legs, because it’s the head that will allow flexibility for shooting.
The filter you need is a circular polarizer. This filter is like putting a pair of sunglasses in front of your camera. It darkens the image slightly, which is good for taking running water shots and making them “flow” by allowing a longer shutter speed (and why that tripod is so necessary…). A Circular Polarizer also, however, cuts mist and haze, and actually enhances foliage as it makes the water on leaves, and thus the colour, “pop”. This is one effect you can’t do in Photoshop, so the CP filter is the one filter I have with me at all times. Almost all my pro lenses have the same diameter at the lens opening (72mm in my case with the Nikkors), and so I only need the one CP filter – a bonus for using the pro lenses!
I’m now out searching for that early colour changing, in the bogs and wetlands where the maples and birches will turn first, and am excitedly looking forward to the many images that will reveal themselves to me over the next few weeks. I helped illustrate an article that will appear soon in the Chronicle Herald, so watch for it, as I have more tips there. A glorious time to be out and about in Nova Scotia!
Covenantor Church, Grand Pre, Nova Scotia
Frost on a Maple Leaf
Leaf in the Water
Maple Leaf in the Rain