The 2009 Fall foliage season is now winding down here in the Boston area of New England and as every year has provided us with lots of black and white photo or color photos opportunities. Shooting Fall colors is an event I look forward to all year. This year was no different and I made mostly local trips but also finally got to experience Acadia National Park. All year I plan and look for Fall destinations and locations. I look forward to the first foliage report from the New England Fall Foliage network at New England Fall Foliage Network. The foliage network is my major source for finding beautiful Fall colors in New England. Every Wednesday and Saturday the network provides updates on color and leaf drops throughout the region. Usually I try to time my trips when the map shows high color. I found that best colors have already passed when peak is indicated on the maps.
Prior to my trips I look into where and what I am going to shoot. Local destinations like the Arnold Arboretum or State Parks within an hour of Boston are preferred when there is only limited time. Longer photo trips are dedicated to Acadia National Park, The Whites, Green Mountains or Cape Cod. Often I find myself browsing the local bookstore or the net to find information about new locations and photo objects. The AMC hiking guides come in handy when I decide to just take off for a hike into the woods or the mountains.
Although a pain to carry along, a tripod is a must. Filters like the polarizer or neutral density filters are indispensable for achieving stunning imagery. Cloudy, overcast mid-mornings provide optimal shooting conditions with minimal wind and good light. This is the time to get up close near brooks or creeks to photograph Fall colored leaves, rushing brooks or Fall foliage landscapes. The overcast sky does not add to the compositions and is eliminated from the frame. Wet vegetation in combination with the polarizer provide me with highest color saturation. I am always on the lookout to combine warm Fall hues with their complementary colors like red with green or yellow with blue. Photographing Fall colors on bright sunny days adds additional depth to images when including a blue sky in the compositions. The sunlight really makes the colors pop.
Artistic approaches for autumn photos include foliage in motion for example, solid trunks with leaves moving in the wind, fallen leaves against a milky, rushing brook or a batch of patterned color from atop a hill.