Sep 3, 2014

Fall Foliage and Autumn Photography Tips

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New England autumn colors are famous throughout the world. Leaf peepers and photographers alike flog to the Northeast of the United States of America to experience the marvelous fall foliage 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 fabulous destination for fall foliage leaf peeping and autumn photography. This blog post compiles 11 photo tips for better fall foliage photography results. The photo hints discuss how to capture mood and color of this spectacular season and bring home beautiful photography impressions and memories. The pictures and links provide further tutorials that may be of interest ... hope you explore and enjoy!

Photo Tip #1: Plan your New England leaf peeping or
fall foliage photography trip well ahead of time this year. There are many sites that provide the required information but The Foliage Network is one of the best and this website provides accurate foliage reports for color and leaf drop. In my experience "High Color" is the preferred 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 spectacular lighting condition. The 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 an overcast and rainy day weather forecast. Cloudy days provides beautiful and well balanced light that enhances details in darker areas. Rain drops on leaves make for excellent macro photography images and wet leaves turn the leaves on fire. Eliminate overcast sky by using your telephoto lens to achieve a tighter, more Intimate Landscape composition that is 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. 

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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 into 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. 

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Photo Tip #8: Photograph during the morning or afternoon 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.

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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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Good light and happy photo making!

Juergen