on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Spirit of Place: The Colours of Autumn

Nils Leonhardt

Nils Leonhardt

Life is a collection of moments. And a photographer is the agent who has the power to capture these situations. In the second he portrays the light the moment is already gone. The mechanism and indeed art of photography aims to interrupt the constant progress of change that is life in order to create long-lasting memories. It always involves subjective judgement about the situation at hand. I am simply an ordinary photographer who is in love with natural light.


I was outdoors last week trying to capture something meaningful. Paradoxically, it was an ordinary grey day with no interesting light. After a few images, I was about to head home frustrated. But suddenly, I came across this interesting collection of trees.

It was hard to create any good compositions since the woodland was a pure "mess" - branches, trees, foliage in overload. A tight and compressed scenery, hostile to any landscape photographer. But these trees had that grand coloured leaves that captivated my attention. I was thinking how it would be possible to reduce the image to the core of the scenery? How could I capture the spirit of the place?

So, I put my camera on my tripod and adjusted the settings to allow for a slight intentional camera movement. In my opinion, the resulting motion blur essentially helped to subtract the chaotic nature of the scene and to shift the attention to its core. In the end, these pictures are more natural to me than any other sharp shot that I could possibly take that day. They exhibit what I witnessed at that particular moment in time. They are my subjective interpretation of the landscape.

This 4x4 portfolio should be a reminder that sometimes it is necessary to pursue something else in landscape photography with more meaning than pure image sharpness, faultless composition and perfectly balanced exposure.

Location: Ore Mountains, Germany
Camera: Fujifilm X-T3
Lens: Fujinon XF90mm F2

On Landscape is part of Landscape Media Limited , a company registered in England and Wales . Registered Number: 07120795. Registered Office: 1, Clarke Hall Farm, Aberford Road, WF1 4AL. Midge Specs, midge net glasses from the Highlands.