10 Tips for Great Fall Photos

October 12, 2011

Fall Colors
There is very little that you can do wrong when faced with the wonderful beauty of the red, amber and golden foliage that fall bestows on us for a few weeks  this time of year.   Sometimes however, our pictures fail to live up to the beauty we saw in reality. Here are 10 tips to make sure what you see is what you get.




1. Shoot during the golden hours.

You’ve probably heard me talk about the Golden Hours before. This is the first hour after sunrise in the morning and the last hour of daylight in the evening when the light is at it’s richest. This will in turn give you the best light for shooting. It’s definitely worth your while to get up that little bit earlier just to see the impact that the light will have on your image.

2. Shoot after the rain.

This is another time when the air is at it’s clearest and hence the light has a great quality to it. It can also be really interesting to see how the we leaves reflect and play with the light.

3. Don’t forget about general composition rules .

This is the biggest mistake people make when shooting Fall Colors. They get so overwhelmed by the beauty surrounding them they forget things like using the Rule of Thirds, having a definite focal point and using lines to draw the viewer’s eye into the picture.

4. Don’t clutter your image with unnecessary stuff.

Keep it simple perhaps by concentrating on a few leaves or interesting trees.

5. Vary your angle

Look up into the trees and don’t forget the leaves on the ground.

6. Make use of contrasting colors.

Red berries contrasting with green leaves, orange leaves backdropped against a blue sky

7. If your sky is not a vibrant blue, then just omit it from your pictures.

Best to leave it out rather than have a dull washed out gray sky.

8. If your shooting with a DSLR,use a polarizer.

This will really help to saturate your colors.

9. Don’t forget to play around a little in Post Production.

Every image can benefit from a little tweaking in your photo editing software.

10. Have fun

and get out there before the display is gone again till next year

Got any more tips?

Please share them in the comments below.

Happy Snapping



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Amelia McGoldrick

Great tips! Reflections in puddles are also interesting shots after a rainfall.


Great. Really like your point 9! I tell anyone who listens to me that every shot can use at least a little Post Pro tweaking. Doesn’t mean the taken shot was bad – I just think that you should take every opportunity to improve on the original, if you can.


Ah, the gorgeous colors of fall are always something worth photographing!


Absolutely Trine :)

Mark - Plymouth Wedding Photographer

Just found this info as someone was asking me for some tips photographing at this time of year (well the trees here are almost bare) so wanted to say how helpful I found the site and will be pointing other beginners this way.


Thanks Mark! Trees almost bare here too but still lots of leaves on the ground to get some fun shots in :)

Mark - Plymouth Wedding Photographer

I know, I was looking at that yesterday, I just don’t have anyone to shoot with the leaves which is a shame… hope to find a nice family in the next couple of days before they go horrible and start to rot.

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