I've been trying to take good photos of falling leaves but haven't had much success. Has anyone got any tips for me (exposure etc), or do I really need some specialist equipment? (I am using a Canon 1000D (Rebel XS in the US) and the basic kit lens). If you've taken a successful photo of this kind, please post it and the settings/equipment you used.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you hoping to catch them mid flight? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 27, 2010 at 15:56
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Having an example of unsuccessful attempts might hint us what you were aiming for and perhaps give better advice. And by the way, welcome! \$\endgroup\$
    – che
    Nov 27, 2010 at 16:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm curious to see the suggestions, I've never tried this myself, but given falling leaves will be more unpredictable than birds in flight, I expect it would be quite a challenge. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Nov 27, 2010 at 16:04

3 Answers 3


Well, I have one picture with leaves, but I used flash to catch them mid-flight. pic w/ leaves
(shot on 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, there was CTO-gelled flash on camera right)

Obviously, we had to throw leaves in the air by ourselves.

If you don't have flash, I'd suggest shutter around 1/250, open aperture as much as you can, focus to half a meter, and then throw leaves to that area. That might result in something interesting. (Just a thought.)


I think it varies, depends on what you're trying to do. But my guess is you'll always need some kind of light: either flash light (as in che's photo) or back light (like I was trying to do in my photo)

yes, there are leaves falling in this photo ;)


enter image description here

This is a certainly technically imperfect example (manual focusing quickly in severely windy and hand-chilling conditions....), but relevant because it shows some leaves illuminated (well, overexposed :) by severe flash usage, some only by natural light. Metz 45CT, full blast, on ground several meters away from camera, radio triggered, Series 1 19-35mm wide open (can't remember zoom setting,adapted) on Sony APS-C at ISO 1600, with the original Metz red filter. Would work with any similar camera.


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