Getting the perfect fall photograph


Getting the perfect fall photograph

There is a very short window to catching the incredible fall colors. Yet it is such an iconic time. Fall is the most remarkable and most visually stunning season transition there is. Here are some approaches and ideas to make the most of it. Nestled between some of my insights are inspirations for you.

Time of day is even more critical if you want to capture the richness of the colorful leaves. Light is saturated with golden hues late in the day. There is an exaggerated crispness to the morning light with its cooler tones highlighting the leaves. Midday can mute the color. Images like the stock photo shot that started this article will make you glad there is such a fascinating season change.

Early morning mists are easiest to find in the fall. The warm water and the cool morning air create stunning wisps of fog because of the temperature contrast. Find colorful trees on the edge of still lakes or even rivers to get this rare magical atmospheric effect. The mist from waterfalls is exaggerated this time of year.

Take a look at curator Vivienne Gucwa stunning fall images

Take advantage of the overcast days. The unidirectional light is perfect for increasing the saturation of the leaves both on the trees and on the ground.

Tripods can give you extra creative options. On a breezy day, set up your tripod then work with longer exposures. Not all the leaves will blur with movement but those that do splash that extra appealing element on to your image.

Come out during and after the rain. The water brings back life and richness to fallen leaves. The colors of leaves have nearly unlimited graduations of tones, the delicate vein patterns are enhanced. The water droplets add a wonderful dimension to the image. Getting raindrops splashing on leaves creates an exciting dynamic that a wall of green leaves does not deliver.

Don’t forget the standby of leaves in swirling creek and river eddies. Their bright warm colors are a startling contrast to the cold blue of the moving water. Focus on just one as it dances down the stream.


This is one of the best times to bring out the macro lenses. The cool morning air keeps insects like spiders, bees, dragonflies, butterflies even Ladybugs still for long periods of time. They will just sit there on those painterly leaves while you change angles and points of view.

Look for rolling hills, where you get layer on layer of color bursts among all the evergreens. Place a bright tree in the rule of thirds quadrant for impact.

Yes, you still need to include rules of composition to these colorful images. It is easy to get distracted by the colorful scene that you forget that for an image to rise above the crowd it still needs crafting. Work your impact points.

Wander through this collection of 60 inspirational images of fall scenes.

Don’t forget to add some people into your images too.

Fall is a visually stunning time. It is all too short, gusts of window after a few frosty nights can wipe out your plans. A fully orange and yellow tree gets sparse really fast. So get out early, get out often. Capture the transformation of this amazing season.

wine-partner-766153_1280 photo by Hans

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