Photography obsessed writer and urban explorer. Lover of nature, art and long weekends. Adelaide, South Australia.
Published February 28th 2015
Take your camera for a walk
Autumn is my favourite season of the year. It's the months where nature's colours explode.
Adelaide and it's surrounding areas (particularly the Adelaide Hills) are perfect for enjoying and photographing the colours of the season. Starting in March and running through to the end of May will see tree lined streets, parks and gardens change from shades of brown to yellow, vibrant orange and glowing reds.
The weather is milder too - perfect for a day trip or weekend away discovering hills towns such as Aldgate, Crafers, Stirling, Hahndorf. Mild warm days make walking comfortable, cooler nights are great for camping outdoors or sitting indoors, watching a fire and sipping a glass of local wine.
If you're keen to get out and take some memorable autumn photos, here are some tips that you may find useful:
Location Research your location before you go. Google is brilliant. A simple images search such as "Adelaide Hills autumn" will produce some great photo and location ideas. There's also a nifty website called ShotHotspot where you can search for a location and see the photos that have been location tagged there.
My personal hot spots for autumn would have to include:
Mt Lofty Botanical Gardens Stirling
Aldgate Crafers Oakbank
Adelaide Botanical Gardens
Personally, I don't think you can go past the Mt Lofty Botanical Gardens. The colours of the gardens change constantly and in the autumn time, you could visit 3 or 4 times from March to May and get totally different photos each time. Plus, it's free to enter (car parking is a minimal cost though)
The sun is shining and it's going to be a wonderful sunny day and just perfect for photos, right? Well, no. Full sun is ok, don't get me wrong. The colourful leaves seem to sing when the sun shines on them and photos where the sun used as a backlight against the trees and leaves are so pretty.
But, to really bring out the colour and depth of autumn, you'll be wanting an overcast day. The light is even and soft. A gray sky can be a beautiful contrast to the colours and clouds can add drama to your photos. If you get up early and get some fog in your photos, you'll add a completely different dimension to your photos - fog and mist will add mystery and mood.
Just add water
After a long hot summer, there's usually not a lot of choice in and around Adelaide for running water. But, if you can, putting water into your photos works well in photos - particularly if you use a long exposure. Waterfalls, creeks and lakes become magical and create some amazing reflection photos.
Get down low
Walk around, look up and look down. Look for fungi, lichen and other interesting things growing in, around and under trees. Get a different viewpoint. Don't be afraid to kneel or even lay down on the ground - it could be could be a bit wet and soggy, so my tip is to carry a plastic bag in your pocket and use it to rest on. It'll save your knees from getting muddy. That plastic bag could also come in handy if it's raining - pop it over your camera and secure it with a rubber band.
Use a tripod
Tripods are essential to getting great landscape photos. They help you get sharper photos by reducing camera shake. But, more importantly, they slow you down. Sounds weird, but moving slow in a landscape is a good thing. A tripod can assist you in making better decisions about composition and camera settings.
Lastly, and most importantly, have fun. Enjoy the day out. Take lots of photos and print a few of them for your walls or to put in album. Share the day and it's memories with your family and friends, especially children. It's fun to capture photos of children playing in and enjoying the leaves and the magical season of Autumn.