7 PHOTO IDEAS to instantly IMPROVE your AUTUMN photography
7 PHOTO IDEAS to instantly IMPROVE your AUTUMN photography

in this episode I’ve got seven great
ideas to change up your autumn photography and you are like me and
you were struggling for some different ideas then this should massively help
you okay let’s go so it’s easy to go along when all the
autumn fall colors come out and see some amazing trees and go to a lake and take
some reflections of those or go to a massive big Vista and see all the
different colorful trees and take that photo and wait for some good light and
have done lots of photography like that but this year I wanted to do something
different I wanted to try different things I saw I was lost a bit of a
motive motivation I was dead excited don’t get me wrong for autumn up to
spoken about it in many of my videos but I wanted to try something different and
recently I went on a walk with my wife and and pebbles and I tried some
different things and I thought that would make a really good video so what
I’ve done is I’ve put together seven ideas that I found to try and take
something a little bit different some of these you may already be doing some of
them might be really useful so before we get into them I want to talk about a
polarizer so I think this is that and I’ve spoken about it so many times
before this polarizer is the one filter that I think you really need to get
amazing autumn shots it reduces the reflections on the leaves that reduces
the reflections on the water and it massively increases the contrast of the
color so if you haven’t got a polarizer even if you go get a cheap one go and
get one I think you’ll find that it makes a really really big difference
okay so let’s get into the first tip so
number one is experiment with different lenses and what I’d suggest is
experiment with a long lens you know if you haven’t got a really big lens like
this this 70 to 200 which is fantastic then just go to the longer end of maybe
your 24 to 70 lens and just get a little bit closer to the subjects and I think
you’ll find that you’ll pick out details that are more interesting and that you
may not have seen in that bigger Vista now one top tip when you put your longer
lens on is crank up the ISO to maybe 1600 and I’m the f-stop down to 2.8 now
you probably gonna leave it a two point a but that means you can handhold there
and just move around and take lots of different shots until you find something
that you think’s pretty good and then you can place it on the tripod reduce
the ISO down making sure you don’t get any blurriness from the wind on the
trees and and that means that you’ve got it’s
much easier to compose something handheld and then when you’ve got
something and put it back on the tripod and reduce that ISO then you’re going to
get a fantastic shot but keep it at f/2.8 or f/4 what the what the widest
open and f-stop is because when you let more light in but more importantly
you’ll reduce that depth of field and these two images just demonstrate that
really well so if you look at the first one where I had it on I think f/8 and
then you can see that the backgrounds appear in here but on the second one
which is F 2.8 then you’ve got some great bokeh on it and it and it really
separates those leaves from the background now I’m going to talk more
about this in some of my other tips coming up around back light and stuff
like that but using that longer lens is a great way really capturing closer in
detail and capturing some things that you might not otherwise seen with the
other lens became a second idea is use backlighting is probably I think the
most important thing in autumn photography is having that backlit leaf
or that backlit tree or just just backlighting on leaves that are on the
ground and it makes such a big difference to the image so if it’s sunny
when you might not be going out taking those bigger vistas in the middle of the
day then you’ve still got in autumn a great way of going to damage the woods
and find some great compositions and again with this backlit stuff then you
can use your longer lens on there but you can also maybe just use a 50
millimeter lens like I’ve got on here this is a sigma 50 millimeter F 1.4 and again having that small f-stop that really wide open aperture or
less in lots of light but also more importantly creates amazing bokeh and
really separates those leaves from the background and you can create some
fantastic effects from that now when you get backlighting you can often get some
quite abstract images as well one of my favorite images that I’ve taken recently
is this one of the leaves but you’ve got to think about your composition so in
this one what I did was I took in an image and then I looked at it on the
back of my naturally and I thought I’m sure there’s
got to be a better composition here after a scene on the screen I spotted an
area of colored leaves and then I retook the image in a portrait orientation of
that of those leaves but the backlighting just creates a
really good abstract image but the backlighting itself when there’s dark
subject behind this one was in Zion National Park it’s actually not in
autumn but it demonstrates the the the benefit of having backlighting on leaves
can separate the subject from from the background so in this case I had
backlighting on these two trees here that were and entangled together but the
canyon walls were really dark so it really separates the subject from the
background and that’s something that I’m doing to talk about a lot in these seven
ideas because you really want to try and separate the subject from the background
so everything just doesn’t become too complicated which can often happen when
you’re taking woodland scenes the other image that I wanted to talk about was
this one which is a great idea of backlighting things was taken in
probably maybe mid November so a long time after you would normally associate
with gray autumn photos but the backlighting on these leaves on the
floor is what really creates some dramatic conditions for this for this
image and I hid the Sun behind the tree so that I could expose it correctly and
expose the foreground really well so again backlighting makes a really big
difference to autumn photography so the third idea is water so doing something a
little bit different than water now I’m sure everybody’s taking long exposures
of water of a stream with some great autumn colors here’s one that I took
this year in fact which is okay it’s an OK image but try to be a little bit
different with water is I think a good idea
now with water it’s probably a good idea to look at how the streams flow in
because what you will probably find is there are areas at the side where you
get swirls of water and patterns that emerge in those swirls when you create a
long exposure so the chances are that there’s not going to be a lot of light
and you’re going to have a reasonably long exposure now for great swells of
water you probably want something between five and
fifteen seconds were you going to get a really good pattern in the water now
here’s one that I taught but I didn’t immediately spot this swirl and then I I
was I took a photo and saw it and then recompose the image to include this well
at the top of the image again it’s not a fantastic image but it demonstrates the
point adds something just a little bit different so by looking looking for
things a little bit in a little bit of a different way rather than just having
the water flowing over the lot rocks then you can often find more interesting
ideas for autumn photography and the leaves the colorful leaves as they swirl
around and create colorful patterns as well the other thing to mention why I’m
talking about water is the iPhone so have an iPhone for ages but we’ve never
be able to do long exposure on it very easily
it’s inbuilt now in the iPhone so you can go on as long as you keep the iPhone
steady so holding it on a bridge or something like that you can take a live
photo and then you convert can convert that into a longer exposure so we so now
even with an iPhone you you can either take a great photo in the woods of
moving water or you can just use it as a way of seeing what something looks like
I was just holding the phone up and just taking photos everything ended up a bit
blurred but it gave me an idea of what was swirling and what wasn’t it’s a
really great tool to quickly look at your photos before you get your camera
and your tripod out okay the next idea is shoot through things so it’s a really
good way of creating different compositions by shooting through trees
or through leaves it helps to frame the image and create a better composition
and lead the eye to a particular subject so look out for things while you’re
walking that you can shoot through that might be out of focus so here the stream
rather than just taking the stream then I shot through these oak leaves at the
bottom of the image here and create and had some other leaves at the top of the
image I was shooting through to the stream which then you know without that
I’d have had some leaves in the stream that would have you know depicted autumn
but these these colorful leaves at the bottom the image make it really clear
it’s evident that this is an autumn shot and it adds a lot of contrast to this
image as well which I’m going to come on to and here’s another image so I shot
through some fur trees here because I saw I saw this tree
that was just changing color in the middle this deciduous tree and I could
have just shot that on its own but I shot through a tree to it and I just
think again it just adds an element to the image by shooting through things to
that to that ultimate subject so it massively can help with with competition
when you shoot through other things to to create that whole image the fifth
idea that I’ve got to improve your autumn photos is to think about color
contrast and so I often find it’s good to have quite a lot of neutral colors in
when you’ve got a very colorful autumn scene so I’ve got a few images here that
sort of showed that idea so the first one is a shot of some Aspen’s when I was
in Tahoe in California it’s a classic shot this isn’t the best the the best
shot again I’ve just picked this out to give you an idea of what you can do but
I think what makes this image what makes this is the contrast between the yellow
and the the sort of silvery bark so and again that same contrast is seen in this
other one in Yosemite where I’ve got that the real yellow tones autumn tones
at the bottom of the image but the gray granite rock in Yosemite really
contrasts well with that really colorful leaf at the bottom of the image and
again I was in the Lake District and the slate quarries earlier you probably saw
that in the last two videos and this was an image I took of some of the leaves
and to separate these leaves from the background then what I did is I had the
slate quarry as the background and that gray and that yellow and green II colors
really contrast well together and brings out the color in the image so being able
to pick something out that’s more of a neutral color as a background or to
contrast against those autumn colors can create a really strong image okay the
next idea is get close in with a macro lens so if you if you’ve got a macro
lens or if you haven’t then you can actually do it quite well with your
iPhone then get down low and maybe think of things on the floor
or that you can find that you can take with a macro lens now what you’ll find
with macro lenses you get hugely shallow depth of field and that can massively
help to create a very abstract type image so this is I just I just saw a few
drops of water on this leaf on the floor and it looked like nothing when I saw it
so I got out the macro lens put it on I actually just rested my camera on the
floor to take this image didn’t even use a tripod because it’s often difficult to
mess about your tripod and whatever just rest it on the floor or just take a
beanbag a little beanbag along with you and just put it on that beanbag but it
creates something very different I think the brown tones of this image just Brown
all the way through just look fantastic and it’s again just looking for those
different things around autumn there away from the just standard trees big
boosters etc okay the final idea that I’ve got is something that I think is
really amazing actually I I think not enough people do this with it with their
cameras to create something that’s very abstract and that’s intentional camera
movement now you’ve probably seen some photos like this there’s some great
photographers that only doing IIT M as its called
but it’s really easy to do and what we’re it works really well is where
you’ve got different colors in a scene and where those colors going to interact
when you move the camera so what intentional camera moving is is
basically getting the camera and then just moving it when you take the
shutters so you just moving the camera in whatever way you might move it around
you might move it left to right like this the best way to do this is is
reduce your ISO as low as it’ll go and then control the shutter speed with your
f-stop and of your lens make sure something’s in focus it still is
important to have something in focus and I find it works best around about
between one fifth of a second then maybe one thirtieth of a second and then just
move it you will have to take a lot of photos to get something good but this is
one that I talked of a scene that didn’t actually look that great it was a tree
with some great great Brown leaves at the bottom by adding some intentional
camera movement in it and just moving the camera down I managed to create
something that that was or abstract I actually really love this
image I think it looks fantastic I think it really depicts that the mood of the
day and actually if you squint when you look at this hit image then you can
start to make out a little bit more of what the image might be I’m not going to
do a video all on intentional camera movement in a few weeks
so watch out for that and yeah get out with your camera and try something
different don’t just stick with the the standard
vistas or the things that you do all the time go and try something different even
if it’s not these seven ideas think of something else to do try a different
lens on your camera if you haven’t got a polarizer go and get a polarizer it will
make a really really big difference yeah and I’d love to hear your ideas what do
you do in autumn to create different images have you got any great ideas so
share them below we’ve got a great community here now on this channel of
lots of people sharing the ideas and what things that they do with their
cameras so share your ideas for autumn photography and train let’s see if we
can get some really unique ones bill oh thanks ever so much for watching and
I’ll see you next week bye

87 thoughts on “7 PHOTO IDEAS to instantly IMPROVE your AUTUMN photography”

  1. Mark Harris says:

    Another brilliant video with some wonderful images, better still, some great and inspiring ideas.

  2. Kenny Johnson says:

    You've just motivated me to get my camera out and do some Autumn photography. I had been waiting for peak foliage but now I think I have some ideas to shoot while there majority of the trees are still green.

  3. Trevor Hughes says:

    Beautiful images, great tips and vlog – thanks Nigel. Just loved that ICM (never heard of that acronym before) and look forward to your video on the topic. All the best.

  4. Tony Murphy says:

    Excellent video and great suggestions to try out, I see in you recommend the Nikon 16 – 35 f4 for landscape photography, I am looking to buy a wide zoom lens and thought the Nikon 12-24 f2.8 was the lens to get.I was wondering what made you pick the 16-35?

  5. richywiseman says:

    What is the name of the song in this video? great videos !

  6. Jeff Freestone says:

    Great video…great tips. Loving your autumn photography. Your photography is massively improving from when I first started following. Great work! Keep it up.

  7. Tim Robertson says:

    That tree pic in Zion park. STUNNING.

  8. Nigel Danson says:

    Share your ideas for Autumn Photography below

  9. Tim Graham Photography says:

    thanks for a great video

  10. Gavin J McGrath says:

    Excellent tips! Thanks very much, Nigel.

  11. Dennis W says:

    A longer lens can compress your image and make that barn across a pond appear larger in your image.

  12. Peter Biggin says:

    ICM works really well in woodland and can use that chaos to your advantage. I like to mess around with movement and also twisting the zoom to create a zoom burst of light. Good video Nigel, some great ideas there

  13. Avid Amateur says:

    Thanks NIgel, some really great ideas. Appreciate your time.

  14. Sharon Mayhak says:

    Thank you Nigel!! Love your ideas and I can't wait to apply them. I love to shoot things backlit. Fall leaves are great but in the past I haven't used a lower f stop…and while the photo was pretty good it could have been better. Not much in the way of colorful leaves here yet…give it another week. Can't wait to try ICM. Have a great day!!

  15. Thomas Johansson says:

    I love this video! Too often we get stuck in the same old ruts. Changing things up with new ideas is an excellent video!

  16. Ian Livermore says:

    Superb Nigel 👍

  17. Daniel Maurath says:

    Great video Really like the “speed round” reviewing many diverse image as opposed to the documenting only 1 or 2 photos in a single shoot.

  18. Robert Blesse says:

    Thanks so much, Nigel, I always enjoy your videos and these photo ideas are really helpful. Fall is upon us and though I live here in Tuscany, I'm headed back to the U.S. for a couple weeks to visit a family member in ill health. I'll also have some time to visit my family up in the Sierra Nevada north of Lake Tahoe, so I'm going to get out and try some of your suggestions. As always, I love the SF cap, but sadly the tragic fires in NorCal are just heartbreaking. All best wishes to you. Bob

  19. darylswalker says:

    Great ideas man! I've just been out this morning and pretty much did most, forgot about ICM and need a macro lens but i find the 50mm does a pretty good job for getting close and isolating as long as you manual focus!

  20. Nick Swisher says:

    Thanks for the great tips Nigel! I'm about to go out and do some photography and film a video so this has given me some good inspiration. I enjoy these videos where you give tips about photography.

  21. sherry Davis says:

    Another brilliant video, Nigel. I have taken note of all your suggestions and will put them into practice next time I am out with the camera. I especially like the idea of ICM as I like abstract images. I'm also really into water photography and have tried capturing swirls and patterns in water with limited success. Thanks for sharing your tips and thanks for sharing a glimpse of Pebbles, she is adorable.

  22. Richard Smith says:

    Excellent video and pictures. ICM works very well in woodland when the bluebells are out.

  23. Sean Robert Ramuno says:

    Brilliant, Nigel! You are an excellent photographer and artist!

  24. Chagrin Valley-Web says:


  25. Abdulaziz Alghamdi says:

    Thanks great tips 👍🏽👍🏽

  26. Julian Baird Photography says:

    Quality video mate. Some really good tips there. I really liked that shot of the leaf with the water drops on it. Well spotted!

  27. Andy Whiteside says:

    Nice video Nigel some good tips and ideas lovely to see puppy going up have a really soft spot for liver and white springers .

  28. Thomas N says:

    Thanks, very good video! I have another tip. Try B/W. It sounds paradox, but if one lightens the red and yellow colours this looks very nice and yields nice separation and contrast – for example with dark fir trees.

  29. Martin Stokes says:

    Quality content..1st class Nigel..

  30. Anthony Hedger says:

    A great video Nigel, thank you buddy. Have you tried the different way of ICM: zooming in or out when taking a shot? You can get some great effects and I bet it’ll work great with Autumn colours. Tony

  31. Nigel Morley says:

    Great video Nigel. Done a bit of ICM myself and great fun to do with bands of colours like your lovely autumnal one and also works really well on bluebells of course in the right situation. But you are totally correct to tell people "you need to take lots of images to get ones you like" !! Explains why no one did when we were using film !!

  32. Tim Scanlan says:

    Every landscape photographer in the country must be glad that summer's over (what there was of it) and that we're now into the best time of year. I'm watching this as storm Ophelia whistles around the house but know I'll be out in the Beacons first thing tomorrow, putting your 7 ideas to good use. I've learned loads watching your VLOGs Nigel so a massive thanks for sharing.

  33. Paul Ngumii says:

    Thanks, really good ideas, looking to try all of them out

  34. Malcolm Farley says:

    Excellent video,great tips what i like to do at Autumn is look at whats happening on the floor here are a few links to my flickr page for my most recent photos
    nothing special required any camera and any lens happy shooting

  35. BUC 71x2 says:

    Really like the movement image!

  36. Tim Blake says:

    Awesome video Nigel some really cool ideas in there, I'll have to go try some I particularly like the ICM style!!

  37. Marieta S. says:

    Hi Nigel, I love the macro approach to Autumn. I have managed to shoot running waters so far and some colour but I really like macro. The idea of creating something abstract or really looking into autumnal details is fascinating. Any chance you would be inetrested in shooting a vlog about mushrooms? This time of the year is wonderful for shooting the little guys. 😀

  38. ker der says:

    Best advice for super photos.. Hehehe stop wasting ur time watching internet & videos like this instead go out & take thousands of pictures.. Hehehe yes most will be crap… Hehehe but u will learn on ur own.. Hehehe

  39. RobertSE6 says:

    5:53 – which image – think you left it out?? very helpful video – thanks

  40. Farouq MJ says:

    Loved last shot, very creative.

  41. AvernaBonani says:

    This is absolutely brilliant! I've seen tons of photography tutorials on youtube but this is better than most, more of a mindset. Will have a look at your other videos.

  42. Arwin House says:

    I think I need to get a macro.. great picture!

  43. daniel bielecki says:

    I really like the water drops on a leaf on the ground now I have to try it thanks!

  44. Chris Smith says:

    Good Video, I like to get images hat are 'backlit' some work really well and some are not so good, particularly in bright sunlight when the contrast is too great. I guess practice makes perfect! The tip about looking for 'swirls' is a good one!

  45. Sonja says:

    Wonderfully creative ideas ! Thank u for sharing ! 😇

  46. gstyle11 says:

    Amazing , on point!!! thanx

  47. Cole Stoughton says:

    your mic sounds muzzled

  48. Nnnuuk says:

    I would add – get down on your hands and knees. Autumn is a specially good time to take pictures at ground level, but you will need to be able to get a good depth of view with a wide angle lens and high f stop.

  49. Yue Lei says:

    Thank you for the awesome tips. Can you please make a video or presets about editing autumn colors?

  50. Kevin Dickinson says:

    excellent tips and ideas!

  51. Avid Amateur says:

    Nigel, have been thinking about your ideas and giving them a try. Will be giving my subscribers a connect to this vlog if it is ok with you. I think it is a worthwhile view. Will send you a link to my vlog when it is finished. So far I have a couple of pics that look pretty good.

  52. Graham Howard says:

    Awesome! stumbled upon your stuff by accident! watched a few of your vids before this one and found this to be really inspiring. You also use most of the same gear that I do so that makes it easier for comparisons! You do the simple things so well and its made me think more about the stuff that although I have already been doing, I haven't necessarily been thinking deeply enough into why I've been doing these things so I can make slight tweaks giving me dramatic improvements. Keep up the good work mate and thanks for sharing!

  53. Avid Amateur says:

    Nigel, I published my autumn vlog, but it pales in comparison to yours; but thanks for the tips and tricks and I put a link to yours on mine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5CZuMNA1I4&t=2s

  54. Shona Bohmer says:

    What is the song and artist from the begging of the video?

  55. Daniel Truong says:

    wow learned a lot about back lighting, thank you subbed

  56. Lance Monotone says:

    This was full of great ideas! I have one piece of constructive criticism, which is to please keep your images visible while you're discussing them, instead of your face. I found myself pausing and rewinding often to see what you were talking about. Other than that, great images and really useful tips! Subscribed.

  57. Emery Carrier says:

    great ideas thank you

  58. jordanthecat says:

    I'm liking your thought process. Liked and subscribed!

  59. orcaspest says:

    Great tips, thank you!!

  60. yujin landscape photography. says:

    looking to see for good idea. Thank you! Nigel….,

  61. Jaxin Japan says:

    Thank you for this beautiful video!

  62. Steve Mozzie says:

    Love the silver birch trees around 10 mins. It's MY sort of picture.

  63. Michu 173 says:

    I would love to see a summer version of this!! Thanks!

  64. Robert Bergstrom says:

    It will soon be autumn again. Will try to get some photos of changing colors along the rivers here. Also planning a trip to Colorado for October. Thanks for the inspiration.

  65. buyaport says:

    If you need your phone camera to look for compositions, then you want to train your observational skills, which is actually very easy: Just try to draw some sketches of the scenery. You will nearly automatically find the most interesting composition, because the process of drawing is highly selective. Another advantage is that you are not tied to the 28 mm perspective of your phone camera, and will easier find the right perspective for you. — You don't have to make masterpieces, just simple sketches. All you need is a cheap small notebook and a ball pen (which you even might get for free).

  66. Ashley Stubbings says:

    Hi Nigel. I realise this video was nearly a year ago but I still really enjoyed it. It's all the more relevant because THIS Autumn is approaching. I just wondered if you know whether I can get a polarizer for a bridge camera?

  67. Doug Oh says:

    One technique is to shoot a close-up of a large, colorful leaf, such as a maple leaf, with the sun behind the leaf. This creates a backlight effect with a small amount of light filtering through the leaf. If you use a wide aperture you can create autumn-colored bokeh from other foliage that makes a nice contrast with the leaf.

  68. Dirty Water says:

    Believe it or not I used an 8mm fisheye to get a great shot of the trees. Pointing straight up, the trees straighten out and look massively tall and add a lot of drama. That can be kind of hard to explain so I'll link to the picture here https://www.instagram.com/p/BahoERkBwdA/?taken-by=matt_angley_photography

    Also, panoramas of a changing woodland are a great way to get a new perspective because it creates a cinematic feel and there are many different trees with different colors

  69. richard gold says:

    Nigel, if you look closely at your vertical ICM, you can see a dog or a wolf walking from left to right. It's ears can be seen at the junction of the upper and middle third of the image on the right and it's body and legs can be suggested where you might expect. Great photo.    Richard

  70. Mark Spurgeon says:

    Nice video, lots of good suggestions and I especially liked the ground level shot of the leaf with water drops. Working on the ground would be a lot easier for me if I had a flip out back screen, which my 7D doesn’t. Wearing varifocal glasses makes it tricky to use the back screen in awkward positions.

  71. Allan Thompson says:

    Great Ideas

  72. The Real Tom H-M says:

    Inspired. I'm off out now.

  73. Bernard Lim says:

    Thanks for sharing even your bad shots ,lol . And indicating where you went wrong, like that honesty !

  74. David Bryant says:

    Thanks for sharing those great ideas. I stumbled across ICM in Acadia National Park on a very windy day and thought why not exaggerate the movement with the camera and got some pretty cool images.

  75. Wendy Arthur says:

    Great video Nigel. You have some really good ideas. I am really looking forward to your intentional camera movement video as well. I have done a little which yielded some interesting images, plus it was fun!

  76. joanilton carlos da silva says:

    Evaluate my photos. To know if I'm taking a picture, I'll leave it here, thank you very much. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPVfNnpmJuo

  77. movingcow says:

    Thanks Nigel. I'm inspired.

  78. Julie Morgan says:

    This is just what I need Nigel, New, fresh ideas for my woodland photography.

  79. davesgardeningtales says:

    Hi Nigel thanks for the ideas I have just released a video with some photos which might give everyone a few ideas.Best wishes Dave https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avwcnjqEDlI

  80. TimberGeek says:

    Yeah my long lens is a circa 1979 fully manual 300/4.5 so 450mm equivalent on my D7000, it's very rich in colour and I love the look it gives.
    I'm looking for ways to finance filters and a 100mm macro.

  81. Paul T says:

    I love the rays of the sun penetrating the autumn leaves still on the trees on a hiking trail partly covered with the leaves.- if that makes sense.

  82. Paul T says:

    The contrast of the seemingly black wood of trees against the leaves it carries is wonderful.

  83. Paul T says:

    Leaves just slightly frozen beneath the water are quite nice.

  84. B H says:

    Very interesting and well be very helpful thank you Nigel

  85. lifesartnow says:

    great ideas, going to give them a try! anyone have the song at the beginning?

  86. Jimmie Aleshire says:

    Loved this video. Now to go out and practice all these ideas. Thanks Nigel for sharing. From the old USA.

  87. Carlos Lourenco says:

    Great Channel Nigel. For someone like me still giving the first steps in this field, your experience have been a very valuable. Thank you. Feel free to check some of my try-outs one of these days in my instagram acc @carloslourenco_photography. Any comments are appreciated. Cheers 👋🏻

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