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Golden leaves on a Lime Tree in autumn by G. Bradley

The autumn colours are in full swing now, so if you wanted a good reason to dust off your camera and take it for a walk then this is it.

Autumn colours by G. Bradley

In response to the shorter days, the leaves of the deciduous trees are now changing colour from green to golden brown, yellow or red.  It's one last dramatic show as they begin to shut down for their winter sleep.

The trigger for this beautiful display is the reduced number of daylight hours. In response to the reduced light each tree produces a spongy layer of cells at the base of every leaf where it meets the stem.  This layer, called the 'abscission layer' seals off the pipework which connects the leaves to the trees.  With no more nutrients flowing to the leaf the chlorophyll breaks down and the autumn colours shine through.

Autumn colours by G. Bradley

Autumn colours by G. Bradley

Autumn colours by G. Bradley

Early morning and late afternoon is usually the best time to photograph the autumn colours.  When the sun is low in the sky you'll see the light shining through the full width of the trees, plus you'll get some fantastic shadows.  As a general rule it's best to photograph outdoors when your shadow is longer than you are.  But regardless of the time of day, being outside, walking in the autumn sunshine, photographing these beautiful colours is hard to beat.

You may want to feature people in your photos for extra interest.  They can add a sense of scale against the trees.  Just ask your friends or family to walk into the frame, or if there's no one around, put yourself in the picture using your camera's self-timer.

Autumn woodland colours by G. Bradley

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