SEVEN THINGS TO SHOOT THIS OCTOBER
Summer may be well and truly over, but the arrival of autumn brings a host of fantastic shooting opportunities that are sure to get your creative juices flowing. Burning colours, morning mist and cooling temperatures lend themselves perfectly to a wide range of exciting photographic techniques. So grab your camera and head outdoors this October, and put these seven superb tips into practice!
1 Get up close to nature
While the trees are shedding their leaves and the flowers have wilted away, nature is still thriving during October. Take a walk through a patch of woodland and keep your eyes peeled for colourful fungi poking up through the carpet of rust-coloured leaves. As the light level tends to be lower in the woods, it’s best to use a tripod to eliminate the chance of camera shake. A small reflector will also work wonders here, to bounce any light back onto your subject and brighten deep shadows. If you don’t have one, take along a crumpled sheet of tin foil – it’ll do exactly the same job!
Taken by Flickr User N. Yavuz shot on an Olympus OM-D E-M10 + LEICA DG SUMMILUX 25/F1.4
2 Capture the rays of dawn
Morning mist is commonplace in October, and as the sun’s morning rays slice through these suspended droplets it makes for a fantastic shot packed with atmosphere. And as the sun doesn’t rise until after 7am this month, you don’t need to skip on any sleep! To add to the mystery of the scene, shoot with a wide-open aperture (your lowest f-number) – like f/2.8 – to send the background into a pleasing blur.
Taken by Flickr User Dan shot with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 + OLYMPUS M.40-150mm F2.8
3 Use puddles for artistic autumnal reflections
Puddles are usually plentiful in October, as statistically it’s one of the wettest months in the UK. You can turn these to your creative advantage and shoot artistic reflections by floating a fallen leaf on its surface. Using a high ISO, like 1600 or higher, will introduce noise (digital grain) to your image and reduce colour saturation, and enhance the fine-art feel to your shot. It might be handy to put a bin liner in your pocket before you head out, giving you something to kneel on as you perfect your composition!
Taken by Abdulkadir Örs (Ubeyd) with an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II + OLYMPUS M.75mm F1.8
4 Record the morning dew
The mixture of falling temperatures and moisture-laden air results in a soft dew on most October mornings, as water vapour condenses onto cooler surfaces. This looks particularly fantastic on cobwebs, and the dew resembles a string of pearls or glistening jewels. Use a macro lens to focus even closer on your subject – something like the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro lens will work a treat. If the background is distracting, place a sheet of dark coloured card (black or grey usually works best) behind your chosen cobweb before taking the shot.
Taken by Christian Brousseau shot with an Olympus OM-D E-M5 + OLYMPUS M.14-150mm F4.0-5.6 II
5 Isolate colour with a telephoto lens
October offers photographers a host of vibrant colours, with red and orange hues brightly bursting from the canopies. Zoom in with a telephoto lens – like the Olympus 75-300mm f4.8-6.7 II M.ZUIKO ED – to isolate your subject and fill your frame with bright colours. Keep your ISO low to maximise image quality, and set your aperture to f/4 to create a gentle background blur.
Taken by Robin Leu shot with an Olympus OM-D E-M5 + OLYMPUS M.75mm F1.8
6 Blur motion with a slow shutter speed
A brilliant way to add artistic flair to autumnal scenes is to blur moving water with a slow shutter speed. You’ll need to use a tripod to keep your camera steady, and set your exposure mode to aperture priority before selecting the biggest f-number your lens allows – often f/22. Reduce your ISO to its base setting, and on most Olympus cameras this is ISO 100. This combination of settings will restrict the amount of light entering your camera and results in the longest possible shutter speed in current conditions, giving you the maximum amount of artistic blur possible!
Taken by Diego Garín Martín shot with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 + OLYMPUS M.12-40mm F2.8
7 Use a wideangle lens to capture a bigger view
Shooting scenic images in woodland can be challenging, but following the right approach will give spectacular results. A wideangle lens is invaluable, as it affords you to cram much more of the scene into your frame, with something like the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9‑18mm being ideal. Getting lower to the ground will add foreground interest and help anchor your shot. It’s best to shoot with a medium aperture of around f/11 to keep more of your scene in sharp focus.