We all want those great fall images, but there are reasons that some images are failures and don’t have quite the color you wanted or thought you saw at the time. Here are a few tips that will help you take better images during this amazing time.
- Use a polarizer. If you have a digital camera, which most of us do, you will need a circular polarizer.Two pieces of glass that are treated to bend the light rays into a straight line and eliminate glare, a polarizer is a great addition to your bag. It works on wet leaves, rocks and water surfaces to eliminate glare giving a more pleasing image with deeper color. This image is an example of a polarizer used on a brook and some rocks with leaves…if there are no leaves on rocks, put some. 2. It is better to photograph fall color on overcast or drizzly days as the tones are more saturated. Try not to photograph fall color on bright sunny days unless you want to shoot trees when they are backlit. Backlighting can be a lovely way to photograph when the sun is bright and the sky is cloudless..here is an example of a backlit scene. 3. There are creative things you can do when photographing fall color…sometimes I like to shoot when it is windy and use a slow shutter speed to allow grasses to move and give a blurred effect.4. Another way to make your images a little more creative is to place a wide angle lens low or on the ground to give a different perspective to your shot…In the example, taken along an abandoned railroad track, I put the camera low to the ground to change the perspective of the image.5. There is also another polarizer available called a blue/gold polarizer. It is a little tricky to use and can either help an image or make it look weird, with bizarre color tones. It works well on leaves floating in a pond or a pool of water, giving the leaves and water more punch…the image below is an example of when it works; you don’t want to see the ones that didn’t.6. Another way to photograph fall color is to be creative and try color abstracts, using patterns that the trees create; especially if they are on the side of a mountain. This image was taken in Alberta where the trees were growing up the side of a mountain.7. A few small tips from me that I’ve learned after taking more bad pictures than you can imagine…When you process your images in Raw or Lightroom, use the vibrance slider to give them more kick…also, I usually underexpose one stop: it tends to give the images more depth of color…try other creative ideas: I have spun the camera, shot at low shutter speed and moved the camera while shooting, too…the only limit is your imagination.