Sunset in the New Forest

Today was the last day in October and it was warm enough to have lunch out in the garden. Afterwards my wife and I drove down through the New Forest to Exbury. We hoped to reach a fort on the mouth of the Beaulieu River but it turned out to be on private land and we had to turn back. We did, however, get a couple of cute shots of ponies enjoying the afternoon sunshine:

Ponies by the Solent
Ponies by the Solent

On the way back, we stopped at Hatchet Pond, where I captured a beautiful sunset:

Sunset over Hatchet Pond
Sunset over Hatchet Pond

As it turned out, I wasn’t alone!

Fellow photographers at Hatchet Pond
Fellow photographers at Hatchet Pond

A final image for Hallowe’en:

Hallowe'en falls
Hallowe’en falls

5 tips for photographing Autumn landscapes

Perhaps more than any other, Autumn is a season for visual metaphor in landscape photography. The sight of leaves turning colour and falling evokes advancing age, maturity, wisdom and looking back wistfully on years gone by and, in particular, the happier times among them.

Tip 1: Make shades of copper and gold the dominant colours in your composition, as in this view of livestock grazing in a field on the Mottisfont Estate in Hampshire, owned by the National Trust:

Trees and cloud in late afternoon sunshine
Autumn in Hampshire

Tip 2: To amplify the nostalgic metaphor, introduce water: the river of life. This is a view of the stream that runs through the estate:

A river flowing beneath trees in Autumn
Remembering times past

Tip 3: For additional interest, add another focal point, such as a lone figure or, as here, water rushing over a weir:


This is the start of a culvert that ensures the estate stream does not flood the grounds of the main house; it provided the ideal opportunity for a long-exposure shot. It could be said to represent the turbulence of life-changing events, although that it probably taking symbolism too far!

Tip 4: In taking all of these long-exposure photos in fading, late afternoon sunlight, a tripod is essential to avoid camera shake and permit the use of ISO1OO to minimise noise.

Tip 5: Key to bathing the landscape in a golden autumnal glow is shadow detail and rich saturation. Whilst you can use neutral density filters and gels to achieve these effects in-camera, it is often easier to do so via post-processing in Lightroom or Photohsop.

Each of the photos above trended Popular on shortly after upload.