Travel

Tips for taking photos in the fall

Photographer Ferenc Mate lives in Tuscany, but his latest book portrays the colors and landscapes of the woods, coast, farmhouses and even the doorsteps and porches of New England in the fall.

His book, "A New England Autumn: A Sentimental Journey" (Albatross Books/W.W. Norton, $39.95), also showcases some of New England's most famous writers, pairing Mate's rich pictures with works by Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allen Poe, Henry David Thoreau, Ann Sexton, Robert Frost and others.

For amateur photographers trying to capture the season's beauty, here are seven simple pointers from Mate on shooting in the fall.

• Shoot early and late in the day. Try to shoot a half-hour before and after sunrise or sunset. The colors will be incomparably richer, the shadows deeper, textures and forms stronger.

• Shoot during or right after storms. The light is more dramatic, and wet leaves, structures, and even roads take on more vibrant, intense tones.

• Move around to find the most dramatic composition, whether you are shooting a seashore, pond, leaf or covered bridge. A few steps can make the difference.

• Check for colors, shapes and light each time you shoot. A red leaf may be eye-catching, but it might look prettier when lit from a side that shows more texture, or, like a stained glass window, when lit from behind.

• Shoot closeup details. A whole barn might seem boring, but its old weathered door or a cobwebbed window reflecting a tree might be a compelling image.

• Shoot for depth. Try to compose so you'll have something in the foreground, middle ground and background.

• If you are serious about photography, use a tripod. It's a must in the lowest, and often best, light.

Mate's favorite places to photograph the region in autumn include Acadia National Park in Maine; Franconia Notch in New Hampshire; Woodstock, Vt.; Block Island, R.I.; Nantucket, Mass.; and Mystic Seaport, Conn.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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