Seasonal Inspiration: Autumn


Different seasons offer many opportunities to photograph the world around you, but my favorite time of year both personally and photographically is autumn!  Something about a chill in the morning air, the colors of the leaves and even the misty fog that is prevalent this time of year makes for some truly breathtaking scenes.

Perhaps one of my favorite images I’ve ever seen from Autumn comes from some of the footage from a movie in the 80’s called The Dead Poet’s Society.  There’s a scene with a bagpiper playing his end of the day tune as birds take to the air, and the notes float across the lake.  The footage comes from Vermont, at a boy’s prep school, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find scenes worthy of a shutter click in your own neck of the woods.

Time is drawing nigh for photo gathering too as the autumnal equinox just happened on Sunday.  The day marks the time of year when the equator of the Earth aligns with the center of the sun.  In the Spring, the tilt is toward the sun and in the fall, the Earth tilts away from the sun.  Both the spring and fall solstice (another term for the equinox) events indicate 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness.  From this point forward (until Spring anyway), the days will start getting shorter and the nights start getting longer.  This means sunset will happen earlier and earlier every day.

As we get less light, a chemical reaction happens in the leaves of trees, causing the chlorophyll to break down.  The chillier air also has an impact on some varieties of trees.  The best trees (in my opinion) to shoot for fall foliage are Maple trees, beech, dogwoods, and Hickory because the leaf colors are the bright orange and red ones that contrast very nicely against the still blue skies (when it’s not raining).

Here’s some sample shots from my own repertoire to give you some inspiration.  For this year, I am going to try and visit the Amish country of Ohio around the Hocking Hills area.  Other options include Chataqua NY (there’s an awesome lake there that would be quite idyllic!).  What plans do you have for shooting Fall foliage?  Any places you’ve been to where you’ve gotten nice results?  Sound off in the comments with your own fall foliage itineraries!

Photobet Soup

Just an exercise in silliness today, but I thought I would share some of the acronyms that I’ve learned in this zany field of photography.  Let’s see how many we can come up with collectively.  Do you know all the acronyms seen here?  Know some more?  Sound off in the comments with your own contributions and let’s see if we can get the whole alphabet!  Here’s my starter set:


That’s just off the top of my head too, so I know there’s gotta be more out there!  This is 76 acronyms that are related to photography…can you identify them all?  Do you have your own that are missing?  From what I can tell the only letter that is missing from the entire English alphabet is that of Z!  Does anyone have a Z?  “Pat, I’d like to buy a Z please?”

Sound off with any of your own in the comments, but if you have a Z acronym, email me!  I bet you’ll win something if I can verify it! 🙂  Happy shooting, and we’ll see you back here again tomorrow!  (Is it wrong that I have been blogging for nearly 3 years now and still do not have a category titled “Fun”?)

Photography Secret #1249871

There are so many tricks and little tips to taking better photos – it often seems like millions, doesn’t it?  Well, it does to me.  I thought of one last night that thought the listening audience might enjoy.  This one is a toughie though (because it’s not that easy to do)…are you ready?  here goes:

Shoot for fun

Yep, that’s it.  I say it’s tough because we can often forget about the fun factor.  We get caught up in the gear, the software, rules of composition, ISO’s shutters, apertures, marketing, advertising, booking gigs, constantly on the go, and all that stuff.

Last night I went out shooting with a buddy in downtown Denver – he’s only in town for a couple days, so didn’t have a lot of time.  It was a last minute thing too, so not like I had time to do any major set up or preparation.  Instead, we walked the 16th street mall – I showed him a slice of life in downtown Denver.  We saw some street musicians and other performers, hit some of the tourist sites like the Performing Arts Center, Denver Post Building, etc., etc., etc.  This is all stuff I’d seen before (and taken shots of before).

The difference last night?  I was just out with a friend, shooting the breeze, talking about photography, laughing and joking around, then we grabbed a bite over at Maggiano’s, a great local Italian restaurant.  It wasn’t all about the photography though – we were just having fun.  Yet, we both got some photography in there too, because we’re both photography enthusiasts.  (Well, I am an enthusiast, he’s a professional – his career deals a lot with photography, so he knows a bit more about it and does a great deal more.)  We were just out having fun.  And we (or at least I) had a blast!

Plus, he gave me a few pointers, so that’s always a good thing – to learn a little while having fun.  But without the fun, the experience just isn’t the same.  So, if you want a little secret to taking great shots – make sure you are having fun!  If you’re having fun, you are more relaxed, and can go with the flow, letting creativity and inspiration come to you.  I know I had a lot of fun, and some creative moments came out of our outing last night.  So, to the rest of you – make sure you shoot for fun every once and a while – it can really help energize you!  I’ll try to get a gallery of shots together for posting later – but until then, just keep on shooting.  Thanks for stopping in and we’ll see you back here tomorrow!