The days are shorter and the there’s a nip in the air, but before all of we cinematographers wish we were hibernating for the winter (with a brief interlude for Christmas) fall comes around to spark our imaginations.

It’s an exciting time for cinematographers to have a camera in your hands. Dramatic landscapes and seasonal ambiance go beyond the beautiful colours in your backyard maple tree. This time of year is perfect for adding some extra depth and richness to your videos.

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Fall is a great time to experiment with visual texture. There are a lot of dramatic contrasts to work with. Think of knobbly, skeletal branches, and spongy, damp leaves in the early morning. Brittle remnants of a plowed field and the plushness of a knit sweater. Seeking out and mixing up different textures can add a lot of visual interest to your shots and contribute to the kind of story you’re trying to capture.

And with all those dried leaves crackling underfoot, it’s good to remember the importance of quality sound effects. For all its signature crunching and snapping, you really can’t make a proper autumnal video without having the sounds to back up your images. Footsteps through a forest or trees on a windy day fall flat without their accompanying noises. For a great resource on the importance of recording topnotch sound for your videos, check out this blog post on foley.

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Fall also provides a very moody variety of canvases to work with thanks to its dramatic start and dreary finish. It’s a season that lends itself well to all kinds of stories and emotions. Based on what kind of look you’re trying to achieve, cinematographers can pull off anything from to colourful and cosy to poignant, nostalgic and even eerie.

For a beautiful example of taking advantage of all fall in Ontario has to offer, check out this video we did for Braestone:

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