Aug 12, 2012

15 New England Fall Foliage Photography Tips

New England autumn colors are famous throughout the world. Visitors flog to the Northeast from all over the world to experience the marvelous autumn glory in the Acadia National and State Parks of Maine, Rode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. New York State to the west and the Great Smokey Mountains further down east are 2 more prime destination for fall foliage peeping and photography. In this latest photography blog post I compiled 15 photo tips on how to obtain glorious fall foliage photos with our photography gear and take home beautiful artwork memories. This blog post links to other related topics that deepen the understanding of correct exposure, depth of field or how to use your tripod correctly ... hope you explore and enjoy!

Photo Tip #1: Plan your New England fall foliage leaf peeping or photography trips well in advance this year and at peak times. There are many sites that provide the required information. The Foliage Network is one of the best and this website provides accurate foliage reports for color and leaf drop. "High Color" is the best time to find these glorious New England fall colors.
Photo Tip #2: Use a Polarizing Filter to boost color and balance the contrast in your photography image. The filter eliminates unwanted and distracting glare and reflections on wet leaves and one can think of it as sunglasses for your camera. Overall, these filters increase color saturation, boost blue sky, add cloud contrast, control reflections and add neutral density to lengthen exposure times for blurred, impressionistic images.

Photo Tip #3: Utilize lowest possible ISO settings like ISO 100 and below for higher quality pictures. Do not use your camera Auto ISO setting since at low light conditions it will adjust to higher ISO settings that may produces more noise. Instead get in the habit of using your tripod even when sufficient light is available … on a different note using our tripod will benefit in better and more pleasing compositions as well.
Photo Tip #4: Consider the weather forecast. For example get out after a rain storm has passed to take advantage of beautiful lighting conditions when the sunlight breaks through and provides us with spectacular lighting conditions on fall foliage. Air is clearest in the morning and after rain making for good times to strive for stunning and scenic autumn landscape photography compositions. 

Photo Tip #5: Do not be fooled and discouraged by overcast and rainy day weather forecasts. Cloudy days make for beautiful balanced light and provide us photographers with minimal wind and beautiful light to capture sharp details in leaves and trunks. Rain drops on leaves make for excellent macro photography images and wet leaves bring out colors even more.

Photo Tip #6: Eliminate overcast sky by using your telephoto lens to achieve tighter, more Intimate Landscape compositions that are more beneficial and interesting.

Photo Tip #7: Look for warm autumn hues and combine them with their complementary colors for high color contrast imagery; For example golden, yellow or orange foliage combined with a saturated blue sky or red maple leaves works well with an evergreen background, all making for fabulous autumn images.
Photo Tip #8: Photograph fall colors on bright sunny days at Mid Range Aperture setting to add additional depth to images when including a blue sky in the compositions. The sunlight really makes the colors pop.

Photo Tip #9: Find inspiration in waterfalls framed by beautiful foliage colors or get close with still tree leaves on the ground and on rocks in rushing creeks and brooks. Overcast and cloudy sky provides excellent conditions for such photo objects.
Photo Tip #10: Photograph during the morning or afternoon sunlight when light is at its best and leaves are sun-kissed by the beautiful sunlight thereby illuminating the colors of fall foliage.
Photo Tip #11: Capture beautiful autumn, razor sharp and Mirror-Like Reflections in ponds and lakes. Too windy for that ... no problem, create artistic impressionistic images within the tiny waves or with foliage in motion.

Photo Tip #12: Saturate and intensify colors by underexposing your photos slightly.

Photo Tip #13: Use a Steady Tripod or fast shutter speeds to maximize image quality.

Photo Tip #14: Use the camera self timer, a cable release or remote release to trip the shutter. If not using live view use mirror lock up to minimize camera shake and blurry pictures.

Photo Tip #15: Do not ditch November and December when leaves are on the ground and make for beautiful Macro Photography pictures. Visit your local sites to get in close and extend fall foliage photography season for a couple of months.


  1. Love your helpful tips on photography. Thank you so much for posting. Your photos are an inspiration.

  2. Thanks for reading and commenting Teresa. Always love to get that kind of feedback. Also important to know that people still checking in and read my posts ... glad you find these autumn foliage photography images and photo tips helpful! My best, Juergen

  3. Thanks so very much for stopping by and commenting on my New England fall foliage photography and associated photo tips Jeff ~ glad they inspire and you find them helpful! My best, Juergen