Location: Getting to a high point above the trees will give you a chance to catch a massive amount of fall colors all at once. Rivers, lakes, and streams are also great opportunities for catch a lot of trees all in one place and have the additional bonus of having some excellent reflections on the water.
Lighting: With shorter days comes more chances to catch indirect sunlight. Early mornings, late evenings, and moderately overcast days are best conditions for bringing out the vibrants colors of the leaves. As is the case with most situations, direct sunlight isn’t always the best. Side lighting just happens to be a bit more convenient this time of year since the days aren’t as long.
Without a Tripod - Higher ISO & Shutter Speed: If you’re out hiking in the woods for scenery, you’re probably taking pictures by hand. Lower lighting conditions means you can push your ISO higher and keep your shutter speed fast without sacrificing your depth of field. If you want to take a tripod with you on your hike, though, more power to you.
With a Tripod - Lower ISO & Shutter Speed: So you’ve chosen to hike up to the top of a mountain with your tripod strapped to your back. Excellent! Now you can lower your settings, set up a perfect shot, and capture some of those amazing seasonal colors.
Close-ups: Now you’ve gotten your mountain top pictures and your river reflection pictures, both don’t forget to look at all the beautiful little details of the fall season around you. There are a lot of little things that you might miss by getting caught up in all the amazingly vivid colors falling from the trees. This is a great season for plant life so take a moment to appreciate the subtleties that nature has to offer.
Underexposure: This is a great time to play with light and color after the fact, especially with digital photography, so take advantage of it. Under expose your pictures ever so slightly, upload your pictures to your favorite program, then start playing around with the settings. You’ll be surprised what some tweaking to the color saturation or contrast can do to your Fall pictures.
Contrasting Colors: The blue tones of a clear sky contrast wonderfully with the vivid oranges, yellows, and reds. Likewise, rich green meadows or evergreen also make a lovely contrast to the changing leaves.
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Fall is here. The leaves are changing colors, the days are shorter, and that crisp bite in the air is luring nature types out into the wilderness to witness the changing season first hand. Of course, with gorgeous scenery comes enthusiastic photographers ready to catch that perfect shot. Before you head out the door take note of these tips to help you get the iconic Fall shot that you’re after.
So now you know where to go, when to go, what settings to use, and what to look for when you’re out in the field. With these tips in mind you can go out exploring the wilderness and come back with the perfect Fall shot.
Image credit: baks / 123RF Stock Photo