If you’re from the half of the world where it’s autumn right now, then the chances are excellent that you’re really excited. After all, there’s just something about this time of year that makes it hard to feel any other way. The hot days of summer are gone in favour of perfectly crisp, delightfully balmy days. Nature is at its best and most beautiful.

If you’re a photographer, then there’s an excellent chance that autumn makes you want to grab your camera and go searching for killer shots to capture as well. Here are some fantastic ideas to consider the next time you’re bitten by the creativity bug.

  1. Hit the farmer’s market.

In areas like the United States where climates are temperate in the fall, ‘tis the season to celebrate the final weeks of harvest season. Summer is over. Halloween and Thanksgiving are on the way. That said, farmer’s markets are going to be bursting with photogenic produce right around now.

While it’s fine to go for the wide angles and long shots in order to capture entire scenes, don’t underestimate the potential power of a good focal point. Walk the stands for a stretch and see what captures your eye. It might be a picture perfect winter squash, a beautiful shock of beets, or even an interesting looking vendor.

  1. Consider a Day of the Dead-themed shoot.

If you live somewhere the Mexican festival of Dia de los Muertos is celebrated (or are planning on spending part of the season someplace where it is), you’ve got a golden opportunity on your hands to capture some fantastic shots. You can learn a thing or two about a fantastically interesting aspect of Mexican culture as well.

If you’re looking to brush up on your food photography, consider locating and shooting some of the traditional fare. Handicrafts, indigenous artwork, and street fairs will also be packed with opportunities to get some fantastic captures. Subjects of interest include sugar skulls, elaborately decorated skeletons, and members of the local Hispanic community.

  1. Start a portrait series that explores the magic of fall.

As touched on above, there’s so much about fall that brings out a childlike, joyful side of people that’s amazing to behold. That makes it the perfect time of year to get out and about in your community in search of priceless moments to capture.

Make yourself a fixture at street fairs, festivals, or seasonal carnivals. These are amazing places to capture candid portraits. Attend with a group of family members or friends and wait for an opportunity to capture them having a moment. You can also capture some amazing crowd shots, focus on honoring hard-working members of your community with a portrait, shooting street performers, and more.

  1. Brush up on your landscape photography.

If you’re an outdoorsy type, then the chances are excellent that you’re already planning a few trips out into the wilderness to admire the fall foliage and the changing landscape. Bring your camera and turn those trips into opportunities to capture the best of nature as it appears in the autumn.

Now is the time to plan that day trip to a nearby national park or schedule that apple picking session you’ve been talking about. Practice capturing a variety of subjects from sprawling landscapes, to wildlife in action, to close-ups of leaves and individual plants.

Don’t let cloudy or overcast weather stop you from seizing opportunities. In many cases, clouds can actually help diffuse light in a way that really helps ruddy oranges, peppery crimsons, and sunny golds pop. Fall brings with it a multitude of opportunities to try your hand at capturing a bunch of different situations to perfection.

  1. Record the transformation of one tree or plant in particular.

Do you know of a particular tree in your yard, at a local park, or in a wild area that goes through a transformation you find unusually beautiful? Consider making it the focal point of a series that collectively records the beauty and majesty of that transformation.

You can shoot the tree every day, every few days, or every couple of weeks. Consider keeping the project going for an entire year so you can record the full scope of the changes. You’ll have a collection of wonderful shots that would make fantastic material for a print series or collage project.

  1. Document some of the local activities.

Most communities come attached to seasonal activities that could be well worth a capture. This is especially the case if you’re into journalistic photography or shots that otherwise tell various stories.

Look into local workshops that tackle a subject or activity you’ve always been interested in. Cider making, pottery, and community gardening are just a few excellent examples. Ask those involved if it would be all right if you captured a few shots of the going on. Alternatively, you could consider offering your services to various venues. You could potentially make some extra money, score some stellar stock shots, or capture some awesome images to add to your portfolio.

  1. Consider a series of light studies.

Fall also brings with it many opportunities to capture different kinds of light and study how it affects a given subject. This is the case whether you’re most interested in landscape photography, nature shots, portraits, or macros.

Start by exploring the various types of natural light outdoors. Then get creative and look for additional subjects to add to the mix. For instance, jack-o-lanterns and their eerie glow make for fantastic Halloween-themed captures. So do objects like candles on a Thanksgiving table, street lamps, and holiday lights.

Of course, these are just a few of the ways you can take advantage of fall and channel its unique energy and visuals into some truly fantastic photographs. Don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild in search of more. This is a season of magic, beauty, transformation, and togetherness in so many ways. How will you make it your own this year?