Photographing the Seasons (Autumn and Winter)

Autumn and Winter can provide the perfect backdrop for a photograph. The dramatic lighting and vibrant colours at this time of year can present some picturesque scenery. However, you have to be quick as the weather and lighting is subject to quick changes and so when you set out for your shoot you need to have a vision in mind.

That vision can simply be the fall of light or the colour of the leaves. 

These seasons exhibit the perfect opportunity to capture the dramatic changes of nature. 

There are a number of things to consider for photographers at this time of year:

The Lighting – 


Early mornings are one of my favourite times to go out to take photographs. With the sun rising, the mist low on the ground and the cold air spurring me on to take the perfect shots. The lighting at this time of the day is absolutely breathtaking and it captures the hopefulness of the start of a new day. 

It can feel like I’m the only person in the world awake and enjoying the beauty at this time of the day with only the early rising animals to keep me company. 

Atmosphere – 


Alongside the light, mist and fog can be used to create an atmosphere within the photograph. This particular picture was taken during a walk around Chiddingstone Castle’s gardens one misty morning. There was a foreboding atmosphere which I have captured within the image. I feel that this picture depicts how I was feeling being alone in the grounds of a castle.


This atmosphere continued throughout the grounds and from various different angles. The mixture of mist, water and lighting can all be combined to create an awe-inspiring landscape.  


I particularly enjoy photographing mist hovering above the water as it creates a mystical and almost other-worldly atmosphere which can prove to be a beautiful image or the perfect backdrop for a composition. 


The Vibrant Colours –


Autumn is the most wonderful time of the year for vibrant colours. The crisp leaves glow as the sunlight falls upon them. I particularly enjoy this time of year for the feelings that the colours invoke. It fills me with excitement for the coming weeks as the crisp mornings showcase the beauty of this season before the winter sets in and mutes the colours. 

I focused on the light hitting the small tree in the centre of this image. The burnt oranges, browns and muted hues of green capture the imagination and the fallen leaves call to your inner child to play amongst them. I can almost hear the rustle of leaves under my feet as I trod the path to shoot this image. 



This particular image represents the changing of seasons. Autumn is seen close up, the colours and lighting encapsulated in an image. In the distance the transition between summer and autumn can be seen, as the weather darkens and the green leaves begin to evolve into their new form. The winding road between the two joins the seasons as it demonstrates our journey between them. 

I believe images such as this are important to capture as they show nature in its rawest form and allows us to appreciate its beauty.

Snowy Scenery – 


As the weather gets cooler and we transition into Winter we are rewarded with picturesque snowy scenes. This time of year can be frustrating as the treacherous snow can limit where I can get to.

It is always important to value your safety above the perfect shot! 


Country lanes can be the best locations during snow, they’re often almost untouched due to their hazardous nature. The lanes are framed by trees, bowing under the weight of the snow and thus creating the perfect archway. This allows the eye to effortlessly follow the picture and fully immerse yourself in the scene. 


It is also important to consider light when shooting snowing scenery, it can lift a cold landscape and create a focal point amongst the cotton-like-snow. 

Whatever image you take during these seasons seek to celebrate nature and the transitions between each season. 



My Top Tips for Photographing Autumn and Winter –

  • Pick the right time of day – During Autumn and Winter the lighting can change incredibly quickly. I tend to find that by 3pm the light has almost disappeared. The best time of day for the lighting is ‘Golden Hour’ during which occurs just after sunrise and just before sunset. During this time the lighting is softer and has a reddish glow. However, during during these seasons the golden hour can be somewhat compromised by the darkness. 


  • Location and Angle – Don’t be afraid to play around with your location and angle. I can regularly be found knee deep in grass trying to get the perfect angle. Be mindful of where the public are allowed and avoid standing in stinging nettles! 


  • Water and Mist – At this time of year utilise the changes such as icy water, mist or even mist hovering above the water. All of these elements can contribute towards creating the perfect image with layer upon layer of details. 


  • Make the most of nature – The colours during Autumn are absolutely breathtaking and photographers should embrace this natural beauty. The colours can be embraced in many different ways – they can be the focal point of an image or they may even make up the backdrop for an image. 


  • Wrap up warm and take a flask of something with you – A particularly important tip is to wrap up warm and to bring a hot drink with you. You may find yourself wandering about for hours on end revelling in the beauty of these seasons and so it’s important you keep yourself warm and hydrated. 


Let me know in the comments what your favourite time of year to photograph is. 


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