As the cooler fall weather settles in, and the leaves turn brilliant shades of red, orange, yellow, and purple, it’s a common sight in New England to see cars slowly winding their way along back roads as the passengers admire the beautiful fall foliage. Everyone is craning their necks to see the magical process that turns our forests into gorgeous, quintessential New England backdrops. And of course, cameras are snapping away as viewers try to capture a bit of that magic. Here are 5 tips for photographing fall foliage that will help you make the most of your leaf peeping trip!
1. Pay Attention to Lighting
The best times to photograph fall foliage are on overcast days, and during the magic hour (the 30 minutes or so after sunrise/before sunset). Both of these scenarios give even lighting, and reduced contrast, resulting in more vibrant colors!
2. Pair Complementary Colors
Complementary colors are located directly across from each other on the color wheel – green/red, blue/orange, yellow/purple. When you place these colors next to each other, they both appear brighter and more saturated. Incorporating complementary color theory into your fall foliage photographs is rather simple. When shooting red leaves, try to frame them so they are surrounded by green (pine trees work well); yellow and orange leaves both pop when placed against a deep blue sky.
3. Use Foliage in the Background
The leaves don’t always need to be the primary focus of the photo – they can make beautiful backdrops for your subjects as well.
4. Get Close!
Find brightly colored leaves and make them the primary subject of your photograph!
5. Reflect a Bit!
Flat water combined with bright sun makes for unbelievably clear reflections. Use this to your advantage to create interesting compositions!
Wanting to make the most of your experience? Make sure to check when the peak foliage is expected in your area! The Weather Channel has a great information on its fall foliage map for the entire United States.