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Let the beautiful autumn colors inspire your photography

Autumn colors.Photo: John Einar Sandvand

PICSPIRATION SUNDAY: Autumn colors are great inspiration for many photographers. Here are some of my images so far this fall – and how I have taken them. 

Just a couple of more weeks – and most autumn colors are gone. So better use the opportunities this weekend – before everything gets November grey.

In this week´s Picspiration Sunday I wanted to share some of my autumn photos from the last couple of weeks. All are taken in my home commune Ås.

How I take the photos

I often use HDR photography to take landscape photos. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range – and is especially useful in situations with very high contrast. This is typical in landscape photos, where the sky can be much brighter than the landscape.

In HDR photography you take several exposures at different settings – and then later put them together using special software.

Tripod is a must if you want good result in this type of photography.  I use the bracketing function in my Canon 5D Mark II camera to take three exposures. One is exposed as the camera suggest, then one is two stops overexposed and the last two stops underexposed. As my camera only allows bracketing with three exposures at the time, I have to then repeat the procedure. This time the two last exposures are 1 stop overexposed and 1 stop underexposed.

This gives me six exposures. I delete the extra copy of the “normal” exposure and then select the five remaining in Lightroom.  Usually I will do some basic batch editing, such as cropping and sometimes adjusting white balance. Then they are exported to the software HDR Efex Pro where the merging and tone mapping is taking place.

HDR Efex Pro offers a lot of different presets. Usually most of them look quite artificial. I don´t want the HDR effect to be so obvious to the viewers – and therefore most often choose a more neutral preset. I make a few adjustments – and the photo is imported back to Lightroom. I then do the final editing in Lightroom, such as adjusting colors, contrast and clarity.  Very seldom I bring a landscape photo into Photoshop. I find that I can do almost all I want in Lightroom.

And that´s it.  Of course, how the photo looks in the end is all up to how I have composed the photo, the available light and choices made in the post-processing. In this process, techniques are just tools.

Here are my photos of autumn colors

Here is a selection of my autumn photos in Ås so far this fall. I would love to hear which you like best! Why not write a comment in the end of the article?

Typical HDR situation. The sky is much brigher than the trees and ground. Using HDR all is correctly exposed - and the viewer sees a much more dynamic range of autumn colors in the image. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Typical HDR situation. The sky is much brigher than the trees and ground. Using HDR all is correctly exposed – and the viewer sees a much more dynamic range of colors in the image. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Yellow trees - the most typical of the autumn colors. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Yellow trees. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Autumn colors. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Autumn colors. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Autumn colors in Ås. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Autumn in Ås. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Autumn by the Østensjø lake in Ås. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Autumn by the Østensjø lake in Ås. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

About the author: Communications officer, journalist, author, digital strategist, photographer, traveller…and more.

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