Capturing Fall Color

Capturing fall color is one of my favorite times to shoot photographs. When you see a tree with vibrant yellow, orange and red leaves you feel the desire to grab your camera. Some people are lucky enough to live in Colorado or any state in New England, where you don’t need to travel to see the color. It all happens in a brief four week period. The rest of us have to fight the crowds and hope we catch a peak week, otherwise it’s too early and not enough color or too late and the vibrance is gone. Out here in Oregon fall is like a 3 month cycle every year, September through November…very slow, but still some gorgeous color.

Top 3 Tips for Cell Phone Cameras
1. Try HDR mode: Have you ever turned the HDR(High Dynamic Range) on? This combines multiple pictures in one.  Each taken at a different exposure so you get the best color.

2.Don’t Use AutoFocus: iPhone’s and Android’s auto focus gives a great guesstimate of the object you would like to be the focal point in the photo. However, if you tap and hold for a few seconds, it will lock the AE/AF (AutoExposure and AutoFocus) and this will ensure you get the perfect shot.

3. Bigger is Better: For Cell Phone shooters make sure you always send the “original” or “actual size” image to us when you are ready to print. Anything smaller is for the web or social media, like Facebook or Instagram. One last tip! Hold your phone in the landscape or horizontal position when capturing landscape scenes.

Top 3 Tips for DSLR
1. For Best Color Shoot in RAW, especially if you think you will be getting prints done. Jpegs are good for the web in sRGB, but if you know you want to print, then convert those RAW files to 16 bit TIFF files in Adobe RGB.

2.Lighting: Don’t wait for a sunny day. Not all things need to be, or should be, photographed in bright sun. In autumn, sunlight is desirable only early and late, when it’s essentially side lighting. An overcast day is best—first, because you can shoot all day long, and second because the light is soft and even.

3. Go Explore: Fall is a great time to drive around to look for spots where there’s color. You’ll find places to photograph right then, and you’ll locate other spots to come back to later on, and in later years—your own private, favorite spots. You can spend the entire day out in the woods during those cool, clear, crisp days of color. Twilights are better, the sun’s at a lower angle for a longer time, sunsets are intense. The autumn light will bring color and texture to a lot of things. Fall is an awesome time to be out all day long looking for beautiful photos.

What ever you do have fun out there and share your fall images with me, I’d love to see what you have captured.

Other posts you might like:  3 Must Know Tips for Taking a Great Photo

and How to Take Better iPhone Photos