Fall is one of the greatest times for photography lovers to have fun. The richness of the fall colors can be phenomenal and beyond imagination. Cool breezes and blue skies are also inviting for us to get out and shoot. Here are some tips for capturing the great fall colors.

1. Find out where and when

Check out the fall foliage maps, or call the traveler information center of the places you want to visit. Most foliage maps represent only the average foliage status. At higher elevations, or with sudden cold flows from the north, the weather conditions can bring the peak colors earlier. Warm weather will postpone it. You may be thinking about going to the mountains or national parks for the fall foliage colors. The truth is, however, you may not need to leave your own city or neighborhood to capture some nice fall colors.

2. Capture the landscape

Nothing brings people into the scene better than a wide angle landscape photo. Go for a panorama if the scene is really wide.

Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park
Panorama

Unknown place near Shenandoah NP

3. Get closer and closer

Broad landscapes are essential part of fall photography but they should not be all about it. Get closer, you can capture a single tree, a branch, or just a few leaves. The details and colors of these elements are just as amazing as the breadth of the wide open landscapes.

Ann Morrison Park, Boise ID

Ann Morrison Park, Boise ID
Surprise Valley, Boise ID

Surprise Valley, Boise ID
Backyard Macro

My backyard

4. Find different angles and perspectives

Always look for different angles to shoot the same subject. Move around instead of standing still. Walk up to and under the trees instead of turning the zoom ring on the lens. Shoot the skies through the trees or captures the fallen leaves on the ground. The unusual angles and perspectives can produce unique and possibly the best photos.

MK Nature Center, Boise ID

Municipal Park, Boise ID
1204684-2005_10_09-144218.jpg

Surprise Valley, Boise ID

5. Use a polarizer

Polarizer is well known for deepening blue skies. A polarizer can also help to reduce glares from the foliage and enhance color and contrast. It is particularly effective in sunny days. Point-and-shoot digital compact cameras can use both circular and linear polarizers, but digital SLR cameras can only use circular polarizers. Be careful with wide angle lens though, the brightness of the sky may become very uneven across the frame.

6. Find the best light

Photography is all about light. Early morning and late afternoon hours are best times for good lights. Shooting under bright sun around noon can produce flat pictures. Do not give up on a cloudy or rainy day either. If you can skip the skies, these days may bring out some of the best foliage colors as well.

Posted in: Tips and Techniques on September 22nd, 2007. Trackback URI

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