Photographing Fall Colors

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An autumn leafPhotographing the colors of fall may not seem to need much instruction, beyond “just point and shoot,” but I have some ideas to share today, coming from someone who does not live near the beauty of the changing leaves. I live in Texas, so some color appears closer to Christmas time and it’s just not as breathtaking as the fall color in other parts of the country. I took a trip to Vermont a few years ago, during “leaf peeping” season, and had fun photographing the area through many different perspectives. I’ll share with you a few of my favorite images to help you think outside the box when photographing the leaves near you.

The unknown road. First, consider the leaf-scattered road. I love this artistic look, wondering where the road leads. I love the piles of leaves on the side of the road, pushed by the passing cars, as well as the trees lining the edges of the road. Photographing Fall LeavesLone leaf. Next, a close up shot of the most perfect red leaf, resting on the dark road below. The contrasting colors are beautiful. leaf-on-the-groundAnother way to photograph a single leaf is suspended in the air with the aperture on the camera dialed down low. This was set at 1.8, and with enough distance in the background, gives a nice bokeh (blurry) look, while keeping a crisp focus on the speckled leaf.single fall leafCovered bridges. If you don’t live near them, you might be unaware that covered bridges “dot” the East coast. They are my favorite subject. This is a fun perspective of the changing leaves, through the window inside of the bridge. It’s a silhouette of sorts, adjusting your settings to the trees outside of the frame.

Fall leaves through bridgeThe mountainside. The speckled colors in the distance on the mountain highlight fall color with dots of red, gold and green.
mountain fall leavesMy favorite of all is not only the red covered bridge, but also the reflection of the colorful leaves on the pristine water below.red bridge and reflected fall colorsI hope this gives you some ideas of something different to photograph next time you head outside to capture the beauty of the fall leaves. In the meantime, I’ll be dreaming of my next trip to Vermont to do this again!

Photo credit: Kristen Duke

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