Fall is here, the temperature is starting to drop, and pops of color are starting to appear. Fall is my favorite season and I love going outside to capture pictures of the fall colors. There are so many different ways to approach taking pictures in the fall, but I wanted to share a few of my favorite ideas with you.
Peak Season Color
If you live in an area with higher elevation, the leaves will start to change color earlier than other places. Figure out when fall colors will start to peak in your area and plan your photo shoots to capture the times with best color. However some places will get much more change in color than others. If you live in an area of lower elevation, you won’t see a lot of fall leaves change color. Raleigh, North Carolina, for instance, doesn’t get as much color change as Roanoke, Virginia. Because I know that Raleigh isn’t famous for it’s fall color, I planned a trip to Asheville to take some photos up in the mountains during peak season. Plan out what time and where to take pictures to best capture the color. One way to do this is to Google a fall color map of your state and figure out which places close to you have the best peak color.
When taking pictures of fall foliage, you should pay attention to the lighting and how it affects your scene. Typically, it is best to shoot early in the morning or later in the day because harsh midday light doesn’t bring out the colors in the leaves as well as the softer golden hour light. Shooting while it is overcast can also be really effective because it gets rid of the dark contrasting shadows. If you do decide to shoot while it is sunny, try a polarizing filter to combat the harsh light.
Water can be magical when photographing fall foliage. The water brings out the vividness of the colors and really makes the fall foliage stand out. Ideally, try to shoot right after a rain shower to capture the colors. Waterfalls or reflections in a lake are also neat ways to add interest to an image. Even just photographing the colorful rippling reflections in water makes for an interesting abstract image. Long exposures for waterfalls can add a soft magical feel to the fall scenery.
Try New Angles
One temptation that is hard to resist is to only take wide angle landscape shots. Don’t limit yourself to only shooting one way, but try to find new angles and ways to approach taking pictures of the fall foliage. Look up into the trees to add perspective, zoom in on patches of leaves for more macro shots, find fallen leaves on pathways that add contrasting pops of color. There are always a variety of photographic opportunities around you, so it is important to be actively looking and finding those moments.
The best way to find pictures is to get out there and find locations. Don’t be afraid to explore around and go out of your way to find that perfect shot hidden away. Maybe it’s through hiking or maybe it’s through driving around, but however you explore, make sure you have your camera ready to snap.
I hope this blog post helps you as you explore the outdoors during the fall and attempt to capture the fall foliage. Grab a camera, head outside, and have fun taking photos!