Autumn is truly one of my favorite times of year to get out and shoot. The colors all around are just so powerful and inspiring. The blend of the amazing reds, oranges, yellows, and such against blue skies, even against snowy landscapes are just amazing. There are other things to shoot as well though, so even if the colors are past their prime, don’t let that stop you from getting out and shooting!
With that sentiment firmly planted, here are four things to be aware of when planning your Autumnal outing:
1. Watch the Weather – With autumn come rapidly changing temps. 70 degrees in the morning can become 20 degrees in the evening, so you need to plan your outing and dress accordingly. My rule of thumb is to dress in layers.
2. Be Aware of Your Surroundings – Because of drastic weather changes, a colorful hiking trail can become a slippery slope and with the wrong gear, you could be setting yourself up for a potentially life-threatening situation. Make sure you not only dress accordingly, but make sure you know where you are going, and what to expect. If you don’t know an area, research to find out what you can expect.
3. Consider your Gear Selections – If you are hiking in an urban area, carrying a shoulder bag or backpack of gear may offer you an opportunity to catch shots with a tripod and/or flash if needed. This gear setup would not likely work in that mountain hike though.
4. Find a Shooting Buddy – This kind of goes hand-in-hand with gear selection and knowing an area. The last thing you want to do is find yourself in an urban area after dark, alone, and with thousands of dollars worth of gear. There’s safety in numbers! The same goes for that mountain hike – if you fall and twist an ankle, your buddy can help you out – or at least knows where you are and can go get help!
This all may sound a lot like common sense, and that’s because it is! Simply exercise common sense, good safety habits, and have a backup plan for those “what ifs” that always arise. Sure, still have fun, be spontaneous, but don’t forget to be smart!