London is a busy place. As we rush from here to there, it can often feel pretty stressful. Certainly when you head out with your camera, the vast array of things to see and photograph can at times, be a little overwhelming...
As a busy Londoner myself, I often feel as though life is moving at warp speed, lots to do, not enough time to do it. Earlier in the month, I read a blog post written by The Mindfulness Project which really inspired me. It was about pausing to acknowledge the new feelings and sensations we experience in moving from summer to autumn and how we can choose to be in the moment and experience it fully.
This article resonated with me so much that I decided to set myself the task of photographing autumn around the area of Borough. Having a strict focus/theme for my images helped me to cut through the busy distraction of the city and enjoy a wonderful, crisp, autumn afternoon with my camera.
Here's a few things to look for when shooting autumn:
One of my favourite things about autumn is the quality of light. During autumn, the position of the sun in the sky is changing. That, in turn, alters how we perceive colour and light. On a clear day, autumn shines a golden light with long, intriguing shadows. Exposing for the highlights can yield some dramatic results. Take a look at backlit street scene below to see what I mean.
The changing colours of autumn are everywhere. Get close up to the leaves & trees and fill your frame with the natural hues of the season. The oranges, reds & purples create beautiful scenes that alter daily. Try looking for strong contrasting or complimentary colours and make that the focus of your image. Here I filled my frame with the colour, detail and texture of the foliage on an amazing ivy covered wall on Redcross Way.
Try to look for storytelling elements when shooting a theme. What do you associate with autumn? I found this installation of hanging umbrellas near Vinopolis, what could be more representative of British weather than a good old umbrella? Umbrellas make great subjects, but if you prefer to be out shooting after the rain has fallen, why not look for an alternative viewpoint by noticing reflections in the puddles.
4. Creating a mood
With the shortening of days, autumn is characteristic of cozy nights in, lit by candles, fireplaces and warm tungsten lights. In the image below, I found some nice lights along Park Street near Borough Market. The leading lines of the canopy and the roof caught my eye, taking it all the way down to Borough Market at the bottom of the frame. Keep an eye out for fairy lights or roaring fires seen through pub windows that evoke the warm glow of an autumnal evening. As the evenings draw in, these lights add heaps of atmosphere to an everyday street scene.
What is your favourite season to photograph? Let me know in the comments below: