Autumn colours on the roadside


An example for the steps to a consciously designed photo – with a simple subject that stood inconspicuously at the edge of a very ordinary street, waiting to be discovered there.

The subject and the image idea

Autumn coulours on the roadside - first view with unpleasant surrounding

This photo with a story behind is an autumn picture taken with little effort, detected rather by chance. To start with, the subject with its surroundings... truly not yet an autumn picture. Don't be distracted by the most striking elements – traffic sign, poles, junction box. Behind the pole on the left is a quaint rusty garden gate with autumn leaves hanging from it. I had noticed the bright red as I drove past, noticeably enough to return later for a photo.

The simple idea of the picture was to bring the rusty gate and the red leaves, which fit so well together in terms of colour, into an appealing picture.

The point of view

The main subject from short distance

This is how it looked when I stood in front of the gate with my camera and took a picture from the pavement. Now the subject fills the frame, the street environment has disappeared, but the background is not yet nice. This is how the result would be if I took a snapshot in passing.

Different background when viewing from larger distance and zooming in

From a longer distance, the angle of view of the gate becomes narrower and runs flatter, so I changed to the other side of the road and zoomed in on the gate. The sky and the buildings in the background disappear, leaving mainly the grasses, which form a welcome background. They fit in well in terms of colour, but take a step back behind the stronger colours of the main subject and form a lighter background against which the main subject stands out well.

The finishing touch

Cropped, with slightly warmer colours and more contrast

Camera settings | The subject is unproblematic for the camera. No harsh contrasts, the main subject nice and big in the picture and having no spatial depth – there are no problems with exposure and autofocus, both of which are done nicley by the camera automatic, no manual intervention. The exact aperture and exposure time are also not really important for this picture.

The colour rendition seemed a bit cool to me, as I have often observed under cloudy skies with automatic white balance. In addition, warmer colours suit the autumn subject better. So: set the white balance to cloudy if you want the photo to look a little warmer out of the camera. Or: Adjust it later in the image processing; that's what I decided to do here.

Cropping | For cropping, the photo went into image processing to determine the exact image section. Of course, this can also be done in the viewfinder, but here, in the constant passing traffic, I preferred to take a more generous shot and crop it later on the monitor at my leisure. In addition, the shape fits better into a 4:3 format, which the camera did not provide at all. This way, unnecessary parts of the picture disappear on the right and left, and the picture section is better filled.

Other image editing | Image editing was really only light fine-tuning here, provides somewhat warmer colours and slightly stronger, clearer contrasts.

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