How to Photograph Better Fall Foliage

Better Fall Foliage Photo Tips

By Gene Wright

In many regions throughout the country, fall is a great time of the year to be photographing the beauty of nature. The leaves are colorful and brilliant, the skies are clear blue, while the movement of the seasons generates vivid, colorful landscapes that are begging to be photographed. For those times, even when a photograph contains wonderful fall colors, the same emotional power doesn't occur when re-visiting the image. Try these easy tips in helping your fall images go hand in hand with the memories you have in your head.  ✓

Acacia tree perspectibve

Making Adjustments to the Exposure Compensation

To make fall colors really jump out, learn how to control your camera's exposure compensation settings. Even though newer model digital cameras have the ability to automatically set these exposure values, better picture quality results may be obtained by making adjustments manually. Fully automatic settings, sometimes allows those brilliant subjects to turn out much darker than these native colors actually are. Just adjust the control to compensate for the exposure by moving in the the [+] side direction to acquire your scenes closer to their actual hues.

On the other hand when you photograph dark subjects, then compensate in the reverse direction of the [-]. When the exposure becomes compensated, your subject brightness will also showi on the screen

 Liquid Ambers in the fall

Becoming Creative with Exposure Settings
On a clear day drenched with sun, try shooting the yellow and red fall colors against a clear blue sky. However on an overcast cloudy day, djust the exposure compensation so it delivers the feeling of a painting. Adjust the exposure compensation in the direction of the + (positive) side allowing the cloudy sky details dissolve and become more white. As the sky becomes white, the colored leaves of fall will show up in the photo as if painted upon a white canvas.

New Hampshire fall leaves at a lake

Make fall leaves stand out using a dark backdrop
As sunlight is falling upon a tree containing fall leaves, select a dark background like a shadowy spot to make the foliage of fall really jump out. By capturing your subject in front of a background that's darker, your exposure environment will wind up being a more powerful image. although, making the contrast between your subject and your backdrop overly high, and you may not walk away the photo your were looking for on your initial shot. Try shooting the same scene over again using different exposure adjustments to get the desired effect.

Fall tree in a parking lot

Auto Bracketing
Use the Auto Bracketing mode if it's included on your camera. This feature, typically found on a great number of DSLRs and newer compact digital cameras, lets your camera to automatically acquire several of images using different settings for exposure compensation. Shooting the identical picture at different levels of brightness levels comes in handy, especially when it's may be hard to decide upon exposure settings which you think are the best. On touch-screen cameras, this is a selectable feature and can adjusted using the cameras' menu. On newer cameras, Bracketing options can be found on the MENU screen.

Numerous DSLRs and later compact cameras let you control metering. When the contrast between your subject and the background is extremely high, or if you snap a image against a strong backlight, using automatic exposure may let you get the best picture. In these evironments try using SPOT metering mode. When using SPOT metering the camera only measures the light in found the middle of the screen. This feature can be used to measure just the light on a tree with fall foliage to darken the background and make your  primary subject of the photo pop out. For more on metering, click here.

Red Acacia tree

Make Use of a Polarizer Filter to Make Those Vivid Hues Pop Out:
By employing a circular polarizing filter, you can reduce any stray light mirrored off the tree leaves and pop out the brilliant nature hues of the foliage of the trees and the inherent, vivid blue sky. On some cameras filters cannot directly attached to the lens, although you can usually simply manually hold the filter in the front of the camera lens and get the same results. Since using a polarizer filter diminishes the volume of light getting to your camera's sensor, it may be desirable to set up a tripod to hold the the camera still for longer exposure times.

Be on the lookout for ghosting and flare when shooting directly into backlight:
When photographing a backlit scene, keep any light from directly hitting the lens surface. If this happens, ghosting or flare could occur on the photo. Flare will allow the entire image to seem whitish and at first sight appear to have been overexposed. A phenomenon called ghosting is when pentagon-shaped artifacts show up on a backlit image.

You can stop light from directly hitting the lens by employing a lens hood, by placing your hand above the lens or camera, or by obstructing the light using a black piece of paper or another type of cover. Also, you relocate to a tree shadow or another shadowy spot.

Fall leaves after a rain

Make fall colors memorable using Enhancement and Saturation fixes:
After capturing the shot, Photoshop can be used to readjust the levels of saturation. By escalating the saturation level you can produce a more impressive photograph with brighter more vivid colors.

Advanced cameras let you to fine-tune your colors for shooting right on-board the camera. Choose [VIVID] picture function to make the fall colors come out brighter. You can make finer adjustments after choosing [VIVID], by readjusting the saturation. Just select the [RGB] icon on the menu using the arrow pad and rotate the control dial. Most newer cameras feature creative Art Filters that create an even more asserted outcome.

Fall tree reflections in Maine

Composition: Play around with shooting both horizontal and vertical images:
Horizontal images leave an impression of open space, whereby vertical pictures provide an impression of more height. Using the identical location, try shooting not just horizontal images, but vertical ones as well. particularly when the clouds turn dramatic, there are many occasions to exploit the vast height of the fall skies by vertically shooting images. Compare the atmospheric differences between vertical and horizontal images.

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