Fall Photography

Today is the first day of Autumn. As the days grow even shorter and we prepare for the upcoming holidays, it can be easy to lose track of time for getting out into North Idaho's beauty and taking photos. Soon it will be Halloween, then Thanksgiving will be upon us, followed shortly thereafter by Christmas. I swear I've already seen Christmas decorations popping up in stores. I started seeing Halloween merchandise in July this year!

I love autumn photography. You get beautifully saturated yellow, orange and red leaf colors and often a lovely contrast with the green of the grass and the blue skies. Time may be short in the fall, but it's one of the best times of year to get out and take pictures.

In the fall you have tons of unique photo opportunities. Some of the most beautiful photos you will see are of frost and ice on the colorful autumn leaves. This makes it a great time of the year to practice your macro and closeup photography skills. A good place to start is in your own yard, but Coeur d'Alene's parks also have nice opportunities for fall photography. Two of my favorite parks for pictures of the changing leaves are Bluegrass and Winton. Bluegrass park has an assortment of trees that turn all shades of orange and red, and Winton's trees produce some beautiful yellow and orange colors.

Tips for Macro Photography
In the fall, you can find all kinds of interesting but very small things such as the veins in leaves or the wings of butterflies. On a point and shoot camera or cell phone, the best thing you can do to capture these small details is to select macro mode (typically a flower icon). On most cameras choosing the macro mode will tell it to focus on the closest details and use a wide aperture so your subject is in focus but the background is not.

If you can mount your camera on a tripod, this will also help your macro photography. It gets rid of camera shaking and lets you play around with your settings without losing the composition of the photo you set up.

Sometimes a little bit of flash can help your macro picture turn out better. If you have a camera that allows you to control the level of your flash, choose a very low level of flash to prevent your camera from "blowing out" the subject. If you can't set for a lower flash level, try a few shots without flash and see if you're happy with the results. Despite popular perception, you can get excellent pictures without using a flash.

Capturing the Fall Colors
One of the best ways to get the vibrant fall colors to show up in your pictures is to choose a time of day when the light is golden. Sometimes you will have this at sunrise--when you can often get pictures of ice crystals as well, but the best time is at what we call Magic Hour--the time preceding sunset. This golden light with the sun low on the horizon will really bring out the reds and golds in fall leaves.

Another method of bringing out the fall colors is to contrast them with cooler colors. Take photos of the leaves with a different colored background--against the sky, the water or the grass. Using the color to your advantage will really help your autumn photos "pop."

A final tip, and one that is often overlooked is to slightly underexpose your shots. If your camera allows you to adjust exposure, bring the exposure down just a touch. This will give the colors in your pictures a deeper saturation. You can later bring up the brightness or exposure in your photo editing program of choice. You'll have better contrast and keep the nice saturated colors.

Fall Portraits
Of course as we get into the fall season, our thoughts turn to the holidays and family. This is a great time of year to get your professional family portraits done. Autumn family pictures are a lot of fun for everyone as kids play in the leaves and you can wear any number of different colors that will look great on the natural backgrounds of fall around Coeur d'Alene and North Idaho.

Getting your family portraits done before the rush of the holidays also helps relieve some of the stress that could come from waiting until the last minute--although since we have a quick two-day turnaround, 29k Productions has delivered family photos right up to the deadline of December 24.

Our outdoor family portrait sessions are just $124 and include up to two hours of photos, unlimited clothing changes and poses. Travel is free within the Coeur d'Alene/Post Falls area and we do any needed color correction or minor touchups. Plus, you get your photos on a CD so you can have them printed or upload them online anywhere you like!

If you're interested in scheduling a photo session, contact Stan at Stan@29kProductions.com or give us a call at 208.699.4685.

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