5 Tips for Great Fall Foliage Photos

Use a Polarizer

If you've ever worn a pair of polarized sunglasses, then you know how they make the world around you seem to pop- colors seem more vibrant, and objects seem to stand out much more.

The reason for that is that polarized lenses cancel out light reflected at specific angles to them. A circular polarizing filter does the same thing for your camera. Even if you're just using an iPhone or Android phone, there are mobile lens kits available that offer a polarizing filter for this purpose. This one tip alone can make your photos really vibrant!


Get Closer

For most people, the tendency is to try to fit the entire tree in the shot, or a group of trees. There's nothing wrong with that, but focusing on the smaller details can certainly provide your viewers with a different take on autumn colors. Get close, find an interesting leaf or a group of leaves, with bright colors, and tell the story of where all that color comes from.


Look Down, Too

We always tend to look up at the trees, but often, leaves on the ground create a nice point of interest within a bigger scene. In this image taken at Kaaterskill Creek in upstate New York, I found this bright yellow and orange leaf on a rock with the creek in the background.


Look for Different Vantage Points

If you're on a road trip, look for those higher vantage points that give you a view of the landscape below. The colorful treetops spread beneath you will create a palette of reds, yellows, and oranges below. If you're in the city, look for the tops of parking garages, buildings, or even out a window.  Anything that will give you an interesting point of view can make for a more interesting photo.


Shoot Backlit

Backlighting is when your subject is between you and the sun.  It can often be difficult shooting into the sun, but putting a tree in front of the sun makes it a bit easier.

When you shoot with the sun behind a tree or trees, the leaves will appear to be glowing. It creates an ethereal look that is just beautiful in photos.


Hopefully these tips will help you be ready for when the trees begin to explode with color. I know I'm anxious to see the leaves change and get out there and photograph it all with my camera. I have several trips planned to try and make the most of the season while it lasts. Check back as I add my new images!