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  • Writer's picturesarahhawley

Seasonal Imagery: Autumn

Here in Ontario, Canada we experience four distinct seasons Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Each season looks very different from the rest. As a photographer, it’s a great idea to build image libraries of the different seasons. Over the years you can continue to add new photos to each collection and the images in these libraries can be reused and recycled for inspiration, different projects and ideas over time. Images can be re-edited for a refresh, giving new life to an older image. Using these images for social media is ideal as there is nothing wrong with re-sharing an old favourite that you have posted in the past, especially if it has been re-edited.

We are currently in the middle of the autumn season. October is usually the best month to capture the warm colour palette of the season with leaves on the trees changing colour. Also during this time of year, the sunrise is later and the sunset is earlier. This helps to capture the warm glow of golden hour which can enhance the warm tones in your outdoor fall photos. Typically, the colour palette in fall usually consists of yellows, browns, oranges, reds and vary from being quite vibrant to muted in tone.

This season, I have been building my own library of fall imagery by focusing on a warm colour palette, muted tones that are not too bold or bright, and scenes, objects or subjects that are commonly associated with autumn. Common scenes include trees with fall colours, leaves of various warm tones, landscapes particularly of the countryside, especially forests, winding roads in rural areas, wildlife in its natural habitat, farms, and pumpkin patches to name a few. Typical objects include squash, pumpkins, gourds, apples, dried corn stalks, bales of hay, falling leaves and pretty much anything relating to the fall harvest.

As you have probably guessed, during the fall season there is a huge emphasis on outdoor photography, but not just for nature and landscapes. Fall is a very popular time of the year to take portraits, mainly family photos in the landscape. These images show people in the surrounding autumn environment. This kind of portraiture keeps many photographers very busy during this time of year.

Other genres of photography can also create images with a fall flare such as fashion, lifestyle, product, food photography and more. Many of these genres are shot indoors, in a studio space where the environment is better controlled, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t also create their own kind of fall photography. Many photographers choose to focus on holidays that occur during this season, the most popular being Thanksgiving and Halloween. Food photography for example, could work with these holiday themes to focus on food consumed during this season like candy corn, pumpkin pie, squash soup, stews, turkey dinner, and other holiday inspired recipes. These dishes can be accompanied by a fall inspired colour palette and props such as leaves to enhance the autumn theme in these images.

Other photographers might take a much simpler method of working and strip their imagery down to nothing but an abstraction that incorporates a warm colour palette. A minimalist inspired approach can be a very creative way to make photographs. These images can be used year round and not restricted for use during a certain season.

I hope I have illustrated in this blog post that there are many different ways to create imagery that is inspired by the seasons. Below is a selection of images from my fall library and you can see how the autumn season has inspired me.

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