The transition from Autumn to Winter is, quite possibly, my favourite time of year. It’s when we get to bring out the snuggly jumpers and cosy hats and it’s full of gorgeous autumn colours and misty mornings. I do love an autumnal misty morning! I mean, I know it's basically Christmas but... misty mornings still apply! (And they're easier to catch with the sun coming up later.)
Last year, I talked about thinking differently to take your best autumn shots (last year's blog here); this year, it’s about making the most of autumn with your camera phone! Keep reading for my top 3 tips on getting gorgeous Autumn shots with your phone.
Tip 1: Angles
Get creative with your camera angles! We're often so pre-occupied with our phones that we forget to look up. But, open your phone's camera and get a different perspective of your view by switching on the front camera (the one you use for selfies!) and holding out the phone in front of you. This gives you a great perspective of what's going on above your head and you can get some really cool, abstract shots!
Try also crouching down to take a shot. That way, you get more in the frame, including all those beautiful oranges and reds of the leaves on the ground. Crouch down, but tilt your phone camera up, very slightly. The added bonus of doing this is that you can make the most of 'leading lines.'
Leading lines are the natural parts of an image which draw your eye towards, or along it, like the pathway in the image below. Because the trees start on the edges of the frame and congregate in the centre, framing a person-sized hole in the woods, your eye gets drawn from the bottom of the shot, to the centre and makes you imaging walking along the path yourself.
Tip 2: Colours
This may seem like an obvious one, but often, when we're looking through our phone's camera view, we can't always see the vividness of the colours that we'd see with our own eyes. Search for areas that catch your eye, naturally, then see what they look like on your phone.
Some phones now, if not most, have a setting in the camera app called HDR. This stands for High Dynamic Range. How it works is, the phone will take 3 shots at different exposures - one slightly under exposed (not enough light), one perfectly exposed (according to the camera) and one slightly over exposed (too much light) and stitch them all together.
What this does is, effectively, take the best of each shot and put them all in one shot. This works best when you have a lot of contrast, such as in the image below. The trees and ground are dark and shadowed, compared to the sky on the left hand side, which is bright.
In the first image, you can see the sky is over exposed - it's washed out and there's no definition in it.
But, in the 2nd shot, you can see the sky is now blue, without losing much of the detail in the trees and shadows. Bearing in mind that this is just a phone camera, the results are pretty good. (Doing this on a DSLR will bring out much better results. Search HDR photography to see the kinds of effects you can get!)
Tip 3: Filters
We're all pretty much filter-crazy these days! With the likes of Instagram and Snap Chat - not to mention the countless phone apps that will crop, edit and colour your phone photos, we can enhance what needs to be enhanced in just a few taps.
For the shots in this post, I've used Instagram filters (apart from the photos in Tip 2 - they have no filters on) because it's my favourite social media platform and its really easy to get your photos looking how you want them to. Even after you've applied your filter, you can edit the brightness, contrast and tone of your images, should you wish.
Here are a few of my favourite Autumn filters. I've picked these because I feel like they're the best at bringing out the oranges and greens of the season, but they still look pretty natural.
Reyes gives a washed out, desaturated look, whilst holding on to those yummy yellow tones.
HINT: Go to 'Colour' in Instagram and add 6% yellow and 5% orange to bump up the tones even more. Then add 9% contrast for a fairytale edit! *
Mayfair is punchier and adds a lot more contrast than Reyes does. It gives a great moodiness to your shots.
HINT: Add 9% brightness, 3% contrast and 31% fade to up the dreaminess, but keep the saturation in those leaves. *
Rise makes everything look pretty! Much less contrast than Mayfair and perhaps more natural looking, but the colours still look great.
HINT: Adjust to -39% highlights, and add 6% shadows to give more definition to your images. *
Willow is a really nice black and white, especially for landscapes. It has soft contrast, which allows you to keep the definition and detail in the leaves, without being too harsh.
HINT: Add 5% contrast, 7% brightness and 14% fade to make your shot look even more dreamy! *
*These edit hints are just suggestions and may not work with all Autumn shots you take. It is down to your creative eye to see what looks best for you!
I hope these tips have inspired you to get your phone out and have a go at creating your own Autumn wonders!
I'd love to see what you create! Upload your images to Twitter and tag me @LaurenPinhorn so I can see!