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« Photographing fall colors Part 2 | Main | Make a good digital capture a better photograph using Photoshop »

Photographing fall colors

Fall color photography in ColoradoThis is the time of year where leaves begin to change color, and some of the most spectacular landscape images can be made.  Over the next few entries, I'm be making some suggestions for how to get better pictures when shooting fall foliage.

Sure, it's possible to be fortunate and stumble upon a location at the perfect time of day. Ansel Adams talks about that in his journal when describing his photograph, Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico.  But in most cases, scouting a location in advance tells you what time of day (and sometimes best time of year) will give you the best opportunity to capture a landscape.

In this example, I arrived at the location midday, and realized that shooting when the sun was setting (on the right side of the image) would make for the optimal image.  Why?  First, I felt like the mountain would look best with warm sunset lighting, and the detail in the rocks would benefit from the direct light.  And second, there was more opportunity late afternoon moisture to create clouds that would turn brilliant colors to add more interest to the sky.

So when at all possible, plan your time so you can scout a location in advance.  You will surely be rewarded for doing so.

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Reader Comments (2)

Just had to comment- Really beautiful photo! I love the 'almost' changing aspens on the left and how they contrast with the pine trees on the right.

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDan Bailey

Thanks, Dan!

October 16, 2011 | Registered CommenterAllen Birnbach

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