The weather is gradually cooling down this time of year, and depending on where you are located, the summer foliage is starting to transform into the beautiful palette of colors of autumn. Fall foliage is one of my favorite subjects to photograph. Around every turn are exciting colors and patterns. There are colors to the left, colors to the right, beautiful colorful leaves below your feet, and of course, above you.
Fall foliage photography can be extremely rewarding in almost any weather. On a beautifully sun-splashed day the colors are vibrant and electric. On a rainy day the colors are wet and saturated. Each droplet of rain on a leaf acts like a mini magnifying glass, magnifying the color and texture. A dusting of snow helps to highlight the fall colors against the whiteness of the snow. There is rarely a bad time to photography fall foliage.
There are no hard and fast rules as to which cameras and lenses are better than others. Just the mere fact that you are outside with any camera is a great start. Here are some tips that may help you accomplish more pleasing images:
- Using a tripod will ensure that you are not moving or shaking the camera. It will make for crisper photos.
- If the leaves are blowing in the wind, use a faster shutter speed.
- A circular polarizing filter will remove sun and other reflections off of the foliage and the colors will come out deeper and more saturated.
- Don’t forget to capture the beautiful hues of green.
- Don’t just look straight ahead. Look up, down, and especially…behind you.
- Wide angle lenses will capture more of a scene. Telephoto zoom lenses will allow you to create a tighter crop and zoom in tighter. Look for reflections of fall colors as well.
- Try to shoot in the RAW file format if you can, and then post process the images in your favorite computer imaging software. Do not over-saturate your colors however.