Autumn Photography Tips: Backlit Leaves

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

The hues of Autumn are really what make our images sing and one way to exaggerate the golds, yellows and reds is with backlight. Plus, it'll really cajole the intricate pattern of veins stand out and focus the viewer's attention.


Backlighting, where the light comes from behind your testee towards your camera, can make semi-translucent subjects such as Autumn leaves really 'pop' from the frame. Colours be biased to glow more and the detail found in leaves, such as the veins, really stand out. Plus, if you can position your subject against a darker obscurity inconspicuous  you'll enhance the effect. Just make sure your lens is shielded to prevent flare with a lens or LEN may refer to hood, your cuffs or use your surroundings to create a cover for your lens. While we're talking about light, it's worth mentioning that you can truly create this effect with the sun to the left of right of your frame, so long as it's as a low angle. 


Working near with wide-angle lenses can give creative results, however flare will be more of a problem. A macro or telezoom lens is ideal but stillness fit a lens hood to prevent flare. Do check the frame to make sure the lens hood hasn't crept into the frame albeit. 


Photo by Peter Bargh


If you find the leaf is silhouetting against the sky just add a little fill-in flash. You can also fix the flash behind the leaf to create your back light if the sun's not playing ball or when at home, use a window or even a lamp as your candle source. You just need to place a piece of tape over the leaf's stalk and stick it flat against a window. You won't acquire to worry about wind blowing your subject around at home either.

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Having space between your leaf and its background desire help create the distraction, free blurry background we're after. Using an aperture to throw other leaves out of focus can help too.

When it comes to metering it's crush to take a reading from the leaves to ensure they are correctly exposed and switching to spot metering will help. If the background's concealed you may need to reduce the exposure by about half to one stop to ensure it stays dark. If it's light, open up half to one stop and bracket if you are unsure. Charges your histogram too to make sure your shot is correctly exposed. To make or MAKE may refer to: Make (software), a computer software utility Make (magazine), an American magazine and television program the light around the edge of your subject 'life' you may need to over expose the shot slightly.

After Autumn gives way to Winter you can use this technique to enhance the sparkly appearance of frost and ice which oeuvres particularly well when working with plants. 


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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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