Ex Hurricane Ophelia - Leaves? What leaves?

Last week I travelled from the north of Scotland to the central southern coastal area of England. Even though it is mid-October, the predominant colour of the leaves along the whole journey was green. In the far north there were some sporadic tinges of yellow on some of the trees, but once I reached the New Forest, an area renowned for its autumnal colour, we were back to solid green.

Over the past week, particularly near roads, some of the New Forest trees have shown signs of turning, but there is still a way to go. As I write this, the temperature outside is 18 degrees C. Apparently, a few short, sharp frosts are required to kick the leaves into action and the sugars into colour before dropping off. This warm weather may be one of the reasons for the slow start.

In my opinion, the longer the leaves remain on the trees the better the colour. The downside of that as a photographer, is that you stand the risk of strong winds blowing the leaves to the ground. To hedge these aspects, I usually start making ‘autumn colours’ photo shoots once colour starts to show in some woodland areas and continue through on various shoots until it is all over and winter creative photographs take hold. I can then determine the best of the bunch and ensure I have this year’s autumn colours in the bag whatever they may be.

Tonight, there is ex hurricane Ophelia making its way across the UK. The upside, is that as many of the leaves are still green they may retain sufficient strength to stay on the trees. Alas, the forecast is such the many will end up on the ground. To what extent we’ll have to wait and see.

If any do remain, I will be running some forays for autumn colour photography over the forthcoming weeks. Many readers of this Blog are already on the email list to be informed of these first come first served events. If you would like to join the list the do email me HERE

Whilst we are in this lull, literally before the storm, perhaps consider what images you wish to capture of the season; what feel; are you going to copy someone else’ style or think outside the box; where are you going to go to take them?

Knowing the answers to some of these questions for me, makes it easier to make the most of the optimum time to photograph this colourful season.

Keep practising.
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