... blog post:
As the year advances and the autumn foliage presents itself in all its riotous splendour, it's a great opportunity to brush up that old contra-jour technique and make use of optics of classic design that together give you the maximum ability to make your photos' colours pop and glow.
Now I have already waffled on about the subject of classic lenses here so I am going to avoid repeating myself. Rather I just wanted to say a very few words about photographing foliage in autumn.
If you want accentuate that wonderful autumn glow and colour depth then first and foremost you need to photograph your subject contra-jour or more simply put, against the light. That means you will need a sunny day with the light directly behind your subject or at an acute angle side lighting your subject or placing your subject against a bright (preferably blue) sky but critically in every case with the light coming through the leaves.
This causes the colours to be lit up and the whole subject to be brightly illuminated. Add to that a lens which has that characteristic classic organic 'look' and your photographs will pop with colour and have a 3-D feel.
Compared to a picture where the light is reflected from the same subject (as in the one above) rather then passing through it, you can see the difference that working contra-jour makes. Mind you, a classic lens is no slouch in making the colour pop even in an image like this when taken in reflected bright side lighting, it is just a bit more subdued and subtle in its rendering.
Modern lenses but of classic formulation come into their own at this time of year, like my Zeiss C Sonnar 50mm f1.5 ZM with which all of the above picture were made. In the end though it is, as ever, all about the quality of the light.