Fall Shooting Tips

Written By: carolmoye - Sep• 22•14
Fall Shot Ohiopyle State Park

Waterfall at Ohiopyle State Park by Carol Moye

It’s fall. I can’t say that I look forward to fall like many others do. As one who dreads the coming of winter (even though snow and ice scenes will occasionally put a smile on my face), I see fall as an ominous sign of things to come. Once again, the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a tough winter.

That being said, the colors of fall are electric and I am greatly looking forward to taking some stunning fall shots in the next couple of weeks. Often in Pittsburgh, that’s all you get. It’s definitely “Carpe Diem” season. Delaying only one week can often mean the opportunity is lost for an entire year.

Hoping to have some great new images to post by mid-October. In the meantime I found a great article in an email from Picaboo.com I have made several personal photo books through their website. My experience with them has been good. I don’t imagine they’ll mind my sharing if it gets them a new customer or two.




Fall Photography Tips from Picaboo.com

You can feel it coming… the days are getting shorter, the air is crisper and the leaves are starting to turn. Fall is upon us and with it one of the best times of year to work on your landscape photography. Below you will find everything you need to know to capture the stunning colors and beauty of the season.


Fall landscape photo beautiful sky, colorful trees, mountains and lake

Photo by Vivian C.

Tip #1 Find the Water

Water can be your best friend when shooting landscapes, especially when you add the magnificent colors of fall to the equation. Get down to the water’s edge across from where you want to photograph and you’ll be able to create a symmetrical composition. The top half of your photo will be the landscape with the reflection occupying the foreground.

*Advanced tip: Use a polarizer, especially on sunny days. This will help with the color saturation, but make sure it doesn’t ruin the reflection as they are always darker.

Fall trees reflected in lake

Photo by Iman A.


Tip #2 Never Forget the Golden Hour

Nothing will enhance the golden colors of fall like natural light of the golden hour. We’ve discussed it before, but this is the time of day directly after sunrise and before sunset when the colors are at their softest (and optimal for photographing).

Tip #3 Understand the Contrasts

Contrast is a defining feature of fall and the more you can understand what colors compliment each other, the better your photos will look. When it comes to this season, red and green are the perfect pair. One of my favorite shots to get is when the first leaves begin to turn and you get that lonely red leaf in a sea of green. Study the color wheel if you want to learn the other complimentary colors.

*Advanced tip: Control the white balance manually instead of using the automatic feature on your camera. Set a higher ISO so that the camera thinks it’s shooting cooler light and warms up the colors even more – make sure not to over do it!

Red leaf

Photo by Rachel D

Tip #4 Don’t Miss It!

While fall technically lasts for months, it’s really only a couple of weeks (or even a few days!) that the leaves will be at their peak beauty. Make sure your ready for it and take advantage when the opportunity strikes. There’s no exact time as it will vary based on where you are, but a good rule of thumb is the farther north you are the earlier the leaves will change.

Tip #5 Don’t Let the Weather Deter You

The most dramatic times to photograph landscapes are not under blue sky and sun, but rather when a storm is brewing. We’ve already touched on contrast, but there’s nothing better than when you’re able to capture that moment when the sun breaks through those ominous, dark clouds. Match this with the fierce colors of autumn and the result will be an unforgettable shot. Make sure to bring an umbrella and other protective gear for your equipment

Tip #6 Backlight Your Shot

If you are able to, angle your photo towards the sun through the trees. Make sure that a branch or tree trunk is in front of the light to avoid flares if you think they’ll take away from the shot. The result will be a glowing effect bringing your photograph to life.

*Advanced tip: Underexpose to enhance your colors. 1/3 – 1/2 stop should do the trick.

Black lit red fall leaves on tree

Photo by Mary

We’d love to see some of your autumn photography. Share it with the rest of the community on our Facebook page with a chance to be featured.



dividing line


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