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A Beginner’s Guide to Photographing Fall Foliage

Techniques/ Tips

A Beginner’s Guide to Photographing Fall Foliage

Fall is beautiful–plain and simple. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that bursts with color during fall, you should take full advantage of nature’s beauty.

Browse any list of fall photography tips and you can bet that fall foliage will be a common theme. So, we’ve decided to take it a step further and give you a few pointers specifically relating to fall foliage. Read on to take your fall photos from good to great.

Tip 1: Look for Color Combinations

The only thing prettier than a tree full of bright yellow leaves is a tree full of bright yellow leaves next to another one with dark maroon leaves, next to another one with orange leaves, and so on. The collage of colors is what makes fall so photogenic, so whether you’re on foot or on the road, seek landscapes with unique color combinations.


Tip 2: Think Portraits

If you enjoy taking photos of people, you should invite your friends and family for an outdoor shoot. Fall foliage makes for the perfect backdrop, and can even become a subject of its own within a portrait. Fall days are often crisp and cloudy, which should be a welcome development after the dog days of summer, when the harsh sunlight interferes with many shots.


Tip 3: Hike

Going back to the first tip, the best way to get panoramic views of all that fall has to offer is to go hiking. You’ll find all sorts of interesting shots from the minute you start your hike.

For those who live in New York City, here are a couple articles that provide helpful recommendations on where to go:

New York-New Jersey Trail Conference: Top 10 Fall Hikes

Curbed NY: 6 Scenic NYC-Area Hikes You Can Get to By Public Transit

NYC Parks: 5 Hiking Trails in New York City to Check Out This Fall


Tip 4: See Reflections

This one is straight from our own fall photography tips, but if you’re near a body of water (or even a puddle), reflections are a cool way to capture fall foliage with a little twist. “Use a polariser to increase colour saturation on sunny days, but make sure it doesn’t spoil the reflections,” Digital Cameral World says. “A neutral density (ND) grad filter can also be useful for balancing the landscape and its reflection.”


Tip 5: Use the Sun as Backlight

If the sun is shining bright, get under a tree and up close to a branch of colorful leaves. Photograph into the sun and see how vivid and detailed your shots come out!


Tip 6: Explore

Fall is a time to explore the world around you. Whether you’re on foot or taking a road trip, all it really takes to capture fall foliage is a camera and a passion for photography. So get out there before the trees turn from beautiful to bare!