Five Tips for Photographing Fall Foliage
Fall is upon us here in the northern hemisphere. Temperatures are dropping, the days are becoming shorter, and the leaves are turning vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow in many parts of the country. Already picture perfect views and vistas are taking on new, colorful life as hikers, campers, and photographers alike are flocking to enjoy this fleeting autumn moment.
Before we know it, winter will arrive and the vibrant beauty of fall will be a memory. Use the following photography tips to capture this year’s autumn colors:
1. Location: There are certain prime spots for photographing vistas of fall colors. Look for hills or tall buildings, which will provide a bird’s eye view of trees in transition. Check out this SmartTravel.com article for a list of the country’s best drives finding views of fall foliage.
2. Shadows: Try to take evening or early morning photos to avoid the blinding midday sun, which can overpower fall colors in your photos. If you happen to be out in the middle of the day, however, try to take photos with the sun at your back to avoid shadows. Also, don’t be afraid of a hazy or foggy day. These can be optimal for capturing a moody, fall photo.
3. Contrast: Some contrast will make the fall foliage really pop, so to speak. Include dirt, murky water, or already-barren tree limbs and trunks to give vibrant autumn leaves context, as well as contrast. Decay is a dominant theme of fall; so including the dark, murky, or already dead will juxtapose the lively colored leaves well.
4. Details: Don’t neglect detail shots. Sure, a sweeping vista of fall colors is great, but some of the most interesting fall photographs include just a single leaf or branch.
5. Reflection: If you’re without a hill or tall building, but near a lake, pond, stream, or river, try shooting the reflections of fall foliage on the water. There are numerous interesting ways to incorporate reflective watery surfaces into the photography. Try taking a mirror-image shot of the fall tree line on the water. Or try shooting a single leaf floating on the water. Get creative and have fun!
Of course, you’ll want to protect photography gear—be it a giant telephoto lens or your smartphone—from the autumn elements. Pelican offers large and medium-sized watertight cases, ideal for getting the reflective water shot, as well as microcases for smartphones and smaller point-and-shoot cameras.
What are your tips or tricks for photographing fall foliage?