Autumn Photography Ideas (Videos)

close up of maple leaf
A close up of autumn maple leaf (backlighting). Photo by Donna L. Long.

I found these videos on YouTube of interesting, artsy, ways to photograph autumn subjects.  Instructor, Ray Scott imparts enough information to make you want to get outside and take some photos. Each video is only about five to six minutes long.

On this website, I have posted articles on Autumn Photography Tips and A List of Autumn Photography Subjects.

Macro Photography and Backlighting Autumn Leaves

Ray Scott has an inexpensive way to create a lightbox for backlighting leaves. Using backlighting lets you see the anatomy of leaves. All you need are a piece of glass, a light even a flashlight, and something to hold the glass above a surface.

Gather the leaves before taking the photos. Press the leaves using a book or plant press, so the leaves are flat.

This is a great way to teach students about the circulation systems of plants. You can do some really funky and cool things with macro photography. I would even start out by showing students some macro photos of leaves and have the students guess what they were.

Then I would show the students how to create their own macro leaf photos. The students could use photo editing software to play around with saturation, color, and other settings.



Fall Water Reflections

After watching this video, I wanted to grab my camera and get outside. The leaves haven’t changed color yet, but now I am thinking about the water features near home and around Philadelphia, I can visit. I know a pond surrounded by trees that might provide some good photos.

For those who use aperture, focal length, and other settings, Mr. Scott shows the settings he used to get the shot.

In the video, instructor Ray Scott says, “It’s not what you see but how you see it”.


Autumn  Photography Ideas – Using A Polarizer To Make Your Autumn Photos Pop

A polarizer takes much of the shine off the leaves. The autumn colors become more intense and pop. A polarizer also darkens the sky. A polarizer will take the reflections off of water, also. This is a new technique to play around with.

I have a polarizer lens that I haven’t used since I stop using film. Even though I use an advanced point-and-shoot camera, I can still use a polarizer. I can hold the lens in front of my camera lens. And I think I have a lens adapter somewhere.


There are probably settings on our point-and-shoot cameras which will mimic using a polarizer. Try any setting for the ‘beach’ or ‘water’. There are also settings for vivid colors. I bet point-and-shoot cameras can mimic most of the results filters can give.

Also check out the photography apps available for your camera phone. These can be found in whatever app store your phone uses.

Autumn in the Natural World

Autumn in the Natural World makes complex processes easy to understand, to the wonders of the autumn season. In easy to understand language the essential natural processes of the changing colors of leaves, why trees shed leaves, and how a pond can still freeze and still support life are explained. Learn the key star constellation which signals the end of summer and the growing season. Learn why the moon’s of autumn loom so large in the night sky.

Available in pdf and paperback starting at $5.99

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More autumn photography ideas

A List of Autumn Photography Subjects

Autumn Photography Tips

Finding Fall Foliage — NANPA | North American Nature Photography Association

Why Do Leaves Change Color? with a Video

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