Autumn photography in Arolla

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
Knowhow, Photography blog, Sports & Travel, Story

Autumn time! A foray with the camera brings us to the farthest Val d’Hérens to Arolla. The short summer season is clearly already over here, the camping, restaurants and most of the few hotels are closed.

How to take exciting photos in a dull environment?

We hear this legitimate question all the time, but it’s actually quite simple. The only thing you need is a little bit of time and some kind of camera with which you can create a certain depth of field. In many cases, that can now even be your smartphone.

Arolla really doesn’t look very inviting at first glance on our trip today. The sky is gray, it’s even drizzling quite lightly in parts, the place is deserted and somehow we would prefer to just crawl away to a cozy and warm place. But if you look a little closer, there are many exciting details to be seen. And with the following three tips, it is not at all difficult to put this small mountain village in the right light despite the adverse circumstances.

Choose the right crop

Let’s start with something very simple: the image detail. Smartphone cameras in particular are usually equipped with a wide-angle lens. This means that a lot fits on it. Sounds great, but depending on the situation, it’s not so desirable, because the more there is to see on the photo, the less the viewer can focus and concentrate on the actual subject.

Simple remedy: You focus on a single detail. This can be a car in a covered shelter, a prominent mountain or a lonely (perhaps already withered) flower. When you take the picture, try to crop the image so that only the detail that you want to be in the end is visible. If in doubt, you can crop the image later. You will lose some of the resolution, but if you don’t plan to print your photo, this is a tolerable loss of quality.

Add depth to your photo

How do you do that? Well, first of all you can simply put any object in the foreground. This can be a withered plant, some branches or anything else. Then you focus on the background with your main subject. This blurs the foreground and makes it out of focus, but at the same time makes the photo much more interesting and deeper, while photos without depth often look flat and almost boring.

In our photos of Arolla you see this concept again and again: sometimes the objects in the foreground were really just withered old plants that normally no one would really notice.

Reduce the number of colors

Colorful is great. But it can also look a bit cheap. Focus on one or two core colors in your photo. For example, like we did here with the yellow larches. Add your own style in post-processing by reducing unimportant colors. Not overdone, but in such a way that your core motif really comes into its own. That way you can focus on the important details.

At some point it does start to rain and the cold wind drives us back to the car.  We end our little walk through Arolla, one of the highest communities in Switzerland, but with the three small but valuable photography tips we can still take home some nice pictures.

Let’s recap:

  • Less is more when choosing a subject, focus on your main subject
  • Use blurred details in the foreground for more depth in the image
  • Pay attention to the color selection and reduce yourself to one or two main colors.

Three ingredients for easy to photograph, but beautiful pictures.

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