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How to Capture Fall Colors Through Photography

How to Capture Fall Colors Through Photography

Fall has officially arrived, and with it the opportunity to take some of the most colorful photographs of the year. But how can you capture the vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges of the season and allow them to keep their individuality without becoming just another muddy dull image?  We have some tips to help you take the best shots of the season right here so you can take memorable photos of leaf throwing, pumpkin picking, and hay rides without any worries.   Best Time to Shoot We’ve talked about this time and time again, but the Golden Hour is the best time to take photographs during the fall season just as it is during any other season. The perfect soft, golden light that occurs during the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset will bring out the red and gold in your photos. If you are planning to shoot in direct sunlight you will need to keep the sun at your back and use a lens hood or shield your lens with something to avoid lens flare.  If not the result will be shadows, lens flare, and a lower saturation of colors in your images. Take Advantage of Inclement Weather Don’t change your plans for your photo shoot just because the sun isn’t shining.  Overcast days can often be the best days for shooting fall colors because the sun isn’t drowning out the colors and the shadows and highlights are softer. Use a foggy morning to your advantage as well. Create a wondrous image of an autumn landscape of fog on a pond, lake or river with thick mist rising in the air during the golden hour of the morning. If you are lucky enough to witness the first frost in your area while the colors are still stunning, take advantage and snap some close up shots of the leaves and the green grass while their tips are covered with the crystals. Try to capture some shots of wet leaves after a rain shower.  Believe it or not, wet leaves tend to photograph better than dry leaves. Camera Tips Using a polarized filter like this Vivitar 95 mm Circular Polarizer Filter from helps to deepen the saturation of the fall colors while helping to reduce the glare of the sun reflecting off of the leaves.  This glare can cause the leaves to look washed out instead of showing their deep and vibrant colors. lensFall is the perfect opportunity to get creative with your photography.  Capture falling leaves and waterfalls by using a tremendously slow shutter speed.   If you have a fast lens, this is the perfect season to use wide aperture to create some creative bokeh images with leaves. For those REALLY close-up shots of leaves, you’ll need to use a macro lens. If you don’t have a lens, you can set your camera to macro mode and get really close to the object. It’s All About Perspective Sometimes changing your vantage point can make all the difference in a successful fall photo shoot.  Instead of shooting everything at eye-level, try taking some shots looking up or down.  Some of the most gorgeous shots are when you contrast the colorful leaves on the tress against the bright blue sky.  A tripod from will come in very handy when taking overhead shots especially.   Quality over quantity is sometimes key to good photography also.  Take a minimalist approach when taking fall shots by focusing on single, isolated trees, leaves, or pumpkins.   Just remember, once peak foliage arrives, it can last anywhere from a week to a month depending on weather conditions.  However, once the leaves fall, the color only lasts a couple of days, so your window of opportunity will vary depending on your location.
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