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Inspiration for when the clocks go back. We have reached that time of year again, the rain clouds are gathering, there is a threat of cooler temperatures heading our way and, worst of all, the clocks are going back. What a depressing thought. Hang on a moment. As photographers we shouldn’t be pooh-poohing this time of year, we should be embracing it with open arms. Struggling to share my enthusiasm? Read on and I will try and win you round. For me, Autumn and Winter are the best seasons of the year when it comes to photography. All you need is a bit of gumption to tear yourself away from the warmth of the indoors and you will find a world of wonder awaiting you. Here are some of the reasons I think we should embrace this time of year…
 LIGHT As the sun gets lower in the sky, light becomes softer and shadows become longer. Autumn and Winter is the perfect time of year for capturing the best of great contrast. Don't worry if the sun doesn't shine, look to the ground and find wonderful, intricate details. Tom's Top Tip... When photographing trees in winter set yourself up with the sun behind the tree(s) you intend to photograph. The shadows from the tree(s) will lead straight to you and your camera, creating an composition . THE GOLDEN HOUR This is the hour just after sunrise and just before sunset. The light is said to be at its best for photography. The great thing is, when the clocks go back and the days shorten you don’t have to get up at silly o’clock to access them. You can have a lie in and still get great shots! Tom's Top Tip... To make the most of the Golden Hour find a location that has great, wide open spaces, lakes, rivers, hill-tops, they are the perfect locations to capture the best of the light as there is nothing to get in the way. GET A CLEARER VIEW During the summer it is amazing what can be obscured by the undergrowth, overhanging trees, leaves, etc. At this time of year things that have been hidden are starting to be revealed again. Tom's Top Tip... Look to the ground, in amongst the trees in in every nook and cranny you can find. When you find something, don't simply click away at eye level, get down and find an alternative angle. SIMPLICITY As the sun gets lower in the sky and the trees loose their leaves, the landscape lends itself to wonderful, simple compositions. Don’t worry that you don’t have much in your frame, embrace negative space and keep things simple. Not only will you create amazing shots you will also capture the mood of the season. Tom's Top Tip... If using a single focal point ignore the rule of thirds and place it in the centre. Not only will you fill the frame more, you won't make your composition look lop-sided. EMBRACE THE NIGHT Just because it is getting dark earlier doesn’t mean you have to put your camera to bed. Go out after dark and experiment with low light photography. The ability to make longer exposures gives you the opportunity to make the invisible visible. Even if there is not much light available, you will be amazed what your camera can reveal. Tom's Top Tip... Don't just go into the town or city at night, there are great things to capture in the landscape too. It may sound spooky but the darker the better. You just need a bit of patience. CAPTURE THE MOOD The autumn and winter produce weather we simply don’t see as frequently in the summer months. Early morning mist, dewy webs and grass, frosts and leaden skies. They are all amazing tools to give your photographs a moody feel. Tom's Top Tip... Try venturing out just after it has rained. Not only is there a freshness in the air but also in the light. It can be the perfect time for capturing moody skies and amazing reflections in puddles and wet ground. Plus, in waiting for the rain to pass, you don't have to get wet!
If these points don’t inspire you to get out and about with your camera over the next few months, I don’t know what will. Just when you feel compelled to wrap yourself up in front of the fire, remember that Autumn and Winter, although cold, damp and boggy, provide photography gems. You just have to be willing to get out and capture it.
©YORKSHIRE PHOTO WALKS 2017 • TOM MARSH PHOTOGRAPHY
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