Autumn Colors Photography Tips in Southern Finland

Here are my best tips for photographing autumn foliage, which is at its peak in southern Finland in October.

When the autumn colors in Lapland have faded, the red and orange hues are often still vibrant in southern Finland. The most stunning autumn colors usually appear when the leaves of birches and maples change color.

Photographing autumn foliage is a delightful activity even for beginner photographers, as the bright colors of nature make it easy to capture impressive shots with little effort.

For photographing autumn in southern Finland, I recommend driving along small archipelago roads, riverbanks, and visiting national parks and forests. You can also find great autumn colors in city parks, so you often don’t have to travel far for an epic autumn photo.

Autumn birches along the road.

Autumn Photography Tips for DSLR cameras and Phone

You can capture the colors of autumn well with a DSLR camera, but you can also succeed with a phone. Sunny or partly cloudy weather is usually the best for capturing autumn colors. My favorite time is just before sunset – the evening sun highlights the colorful landscape. Often, you don’t need a tripod as there is likely enough light. Use lenses with an aperture of about f/2, which are bright and can bring depth of field to the subject.

With a drone, you can also get great shots of trees with different shades from above.

My favorite lenses for photographing autumn are:

  • 14-24mm f/2.8 lens for capturing wide shots
  • 35mm f/1.4 for adding depth of field to your photos
  • 24-70mm f/2.8 a good general lens for various landscape photography situations
  • 70-200mm f/2.8 a great lens for tighter shots
  • 400mm f/2.8 is always with me – great for capturing animals in stunning landscapes

A tip for photographing autumn: try framing the subject with autumn red leaves. The best autumn photo, in my opinion, includes an element in the foreground that adds depth to the image and makes it more interesting.

Behind the scenes of taking an autumn photo with a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens through an autumn-colored frame. This way, I create depth in the photo.
This is what the finished photo looked like. The photo shows a drunken sauna in Kirkkonummi.

When photographing with a phone, try different image sizes, photography modes, and settings. You can also make your phone photos more impressive by experimenting with different shooting heights. For example, near water elements, place the phone just above the water surface to get a beautiful reflection. A filter can also help eliminate reflections.

Drone Photography Tips

With a drone, you can add a new dimension to your photos. I often notice places where aerial shots work beautifully while traveling. These include flowing rapids and interestingly shaped islands or archipelagos. I often stop with my camper van to explore the surroundings. Aerial photos give a better sense of the environment and can capture the sunset from anywhere, as you can rise high.

An island photographed with a drone in evening light.

When using a drone, use a polarizing filter to capture colors at their best. When taking off, consider weather conditions – for example, there can be strong gusts of wind over the sea in autumn. I always recommend flying according to the rules.

A deserted island photographed with a drone.

Autumn Foliage in a National Park – Teijo and Mathildedal in Autumn Colors

Mathildedal ironworks village in autumn colors.

One great autumn destination is the Mathildedal ironworks village, next to which is the Teijo National Park. In the ironworks village, you can enjoy an old-time atmosphere, and the area also has alpacas. I headed from the village to Lake Matildanjärvi to enjoy the natural colors.

Boardwalks through the swamp on the Matildanjärvi trail, where you could also see ground foliage.

It’s nice to sit on the rocks by Lake Matildanjärvi and enjoy the sunset. With a camper van, you can park near the nature center, from where fine hiking trails start.

Sunset at Lake Matildanjärvi.
The shore was colored by orange trees.

Autumn in the City – Turku

I went on a weekend trip to Turku in October with my camper van to capture the autumn hues. The autumn landscape extended to the banks of the Aura River, where it is nice to walk. I watched as the sun peeked from behind the clouds and took landscape photos from the bridges towards the Turku Cathedral.

The cathedral amidst autumnal trees, with the sunlit trees adding depth to the photo.

I recommend checking the weather forecast on the Finnish Meteorological Institute app – this way you can conveniently move to a dry spot.

There are many beautiful shores along the Aura River for photography.
For the photo of Turku Castle, I included fallen orange leaves on the ground.

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