Sep 30, 2012

11 Tips for Better Fall Foliage Photos


The fall foliage colors of New England are famous throughout the world. Visitors flog to the Northeast of the USA from all over the world to experience the marvelous autumn glory in Acadia National Park 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. I compiled 15 photo hints and tips for fall foliage photography using digital and film cameras. The photo tips discuss how to capture the mood, the color, the season, how to make colors more intense and how to photograph  glorious fall foliage photos with our photography gear and bring home beautiful photography artwork memories ... pictures and links provide further tutorials ... 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: 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 storms making for good times to strive for stunning and scenic autumn landscape photography compositions. 

Photo Tip #3: 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. Eliminate overcast sky by using your telephoto lens to achieve tighter, more Intimate Landscape compositions that are more beneficial and interesting.

Photo Tip #4: A Polarizing Filter is a good tool to boost color and balance the contrast in your photography image. The filter eliminates unwanted glare and reflections on wet leaves that may distract from the composition. 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 #5: Low ISO settings like ISO 100 and below make 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 produces more noise. Instead get in the habit of using your tripod even when sufficient light is available. 

Photo Tip #6: 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. Red maple leaves work well with an evergreen background, all making for fabulous autumn images.

Photo Tip #7: 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 #8: 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 #9: 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 #10: Saturate and intensify colors by underexposing your photos slightly. 

Photo Tip #11: 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.

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