Fall is a wonderful time for photographers. While many people might be excited about the idea of ââa spiced pumpkin latte and a relaxed stroll in the park, the image makers are planning the awesome fall season. From landscapes to outdoor portraits and from macro to wildlife, all genres benefit from the sea of ââcolors that transforms our environment.
As with all areas of photography, planning is a huge plus. Therefore, deciding what kit you need early on means you have a full kit bag when the season is in full swing. With that in mind, we’ve put together a brief rundown of the essentials that should be on your wishlist for a successful and productive photography and videography season.
The kit in this list will help you capture a wide range of detail, tell a bigger story about the fall months, and capture images for everything from stock sites to your top performing Instagram post.
1) Circular polarizer
To look for:
â¢ Water and dust resistant
â¢ Optical glass
â¢ Metallic construction
Few filters are as well known as the circular polarizer. This is a must have for a landscape photographer because there is simply no way to recreate the effect it applies to images in software. For fall, the season of color, this truly is an essential kit item.
By attaching this filter to your lens, you can cut off reflections on the leaf surface, saturate colors, and produce more impactful images. You will especially notice the advantages of this when shooting in a forest after the rain; wet leaves will look dull without the filter, so be sure to get one for your next photoshoot!
You don’t need an expensive model, but make sure you don’t interfere with the quality of your lens with a shoddy model. A good idea if you have lenses with several different thread sizes is to buy a large filter first – an 82mm filter, for example. This way you can descend to the thread of any of your goals using a walking ring.
â¢ The best polarizing filters
2) Main lens with large aperture
To look for:
â¢ Fast and quiet autofocus
â¢ Small size / weight
â¢ Metal lens mount
If you want to get creative with your fall photography, shooting wide open with a fast lens is a great place to start. Whether it’s a seasonal portrait you want to capture or a detail taken in the forest, shooting at f / 2.8 or wider will blur the background, creating a blur of stunning warm colors.
A 50mm f / 1.8 ânifty fiftyâ lens is a nice option and it won’t cost you too much if you’re on a budget. If you can expand on it, a 35mm f / 1.4 will add an interesting wider perspective, which is popular on social media and stock markets. Search for #autumn and you’ll see what we mean!
â¢ The best 50mm lenses
3) Telephoto zoom
To look for:
â¢ 9-blade aperture for attractive bokeh
â¢ Image stabilization for handling
One aspect that can really let down your awesome fall photos is the gaps in the colorful leaf rugs. These can be exaggerated by the wide-angle perspective, where a zoom lens comes in. A telephoto zoom, like a 70-200mm or 70-300mm optic, is perfect for compressing the elements of the scene and bringing together rows of images. trees for a dazzling tunnel effect.
It’s like the hidden weapon of professional fall landscape photography, so adding one of these lenses to your kit might be the best thing you do this season. If you can stretch up to a 200mm f / 2.8 lens, that will provide exceptional quality, but a good old 70-300mm will do just fine.
â¢ The best telephoto lenses
4) Ultra-wide lens
To look for:
â¢ Aspherical elements
â¢ Anti-reflective coating
â¢ Standard filter system compatibility
While you have to be careful not to reveal color gaps when stretching the perspective, a wide-angle lens is perfect for capturing large expanses of vibrant tree canopies and leaf mats. If you are using an APS-C camera, look for a lens with a wide setting of around 10mm, while for cameras with a full frame sensor, a focal length of between 12 and 15mm works best.
Use these wide positions to enhance the sense of scale in an autumn landscape. Try to shoot from the bottom to the ground and aim the lens upwards to capture a unique view from any location.
5) lightweight tripod
To look for:
â¢ Carbon fiber construction
â¢ Legs in 3 or 4 sections
â¢ Interchangeable head
While desirable for all landscape photography, the best light is at sunrise and sunset, or on an overcast and cloudy day in the fall. These produce the best colors but offer surprisingly low ambient lighting. Trying to hold a zoom in a forest will be a real challenge, resulting in a lot of blurry images – not what you want to see at the end of a long day of photography.
A sturdy but light tripod is a must for shooting this time of year. Look for carbon fiber models for the best balance of strength and portability. Also consider models that allow shooting at low altitudes, to capture stunning carpets of fallen leaves up close.
â¢ The best carbon fiber tripods
6) Neutral density filter
To look for:
â¢ Format 100x100cm
â¢ Optical grade resin
â¢ Anti-scratch coatings
Although the ambient light is generally lower at this time of year, any time you shoot towards the light (backlighting) or when using a wide aperture, it can be difficult to achieve long exposures. When you want to capture a flowing stream in an autumn setting, an ND filter will cut off enough light to allow you to leave your camera’s shutter open longer – in some cases several minutes – producing the look of water. classic blurry.
If you just want to show slight movement in the water and surrounding trees, swaying in the breeze, use a low density filter such as a 0.3ND (ND2). If you need more movement, a 0.6ND (ND4) or 0.9ND (ND8) are better choices. ND filters are also essential filters for videographers, allowing for wider apertures while maintaining exposure. Consider a variable ND for greater flexibility.
â¢ The best neutral density filters
â¢ Best variable ND filters
3 issues for only Â£ / $ / â¬ by subscribing to Digital Photographer magazine
The best lenses for landscapes
Best cameras for landscape photography
Tips for landscape photography