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Tips for capturing fall foliage
Fall Foliage Bear Mountain State Park Time of Day
The best time to take any photograph including fall foliage is in the morning and evening. The direction and intensity of sunlight is critical. Poor light is the biggest reason why photographs do not come out well. The morning light is more diffused which makes a softer light. Evening photos are usually warmer. Avoid taking photos in the middle of the day. The harsh sunlight will wash out the color and make your photos appear flat and less colorful.

If you find yourself shooting fall colors in the middle of the day try to find a shaded area and photograph the scene with the sun behind the leaves rather than shining on the leaves.

Equipment
You don't need much to photograph fall foliage. Two must-have photography tools for most outdoor photography is a polarizer filter and a tripod. The polarizer will help eliminate the glare from shiny leaves and help reduce stray light which may dull the color somewhat in your photograph. A tripod allows you to shoot in lower light with a polarizer filter without compensating with higher ISOs. Remember, a polarizer will reduce the amount of light entering your camera thus forcing you to use slower shutter speeds. Always use a tripod when going less than 1/60th of a second.





How to Photograph Autumn Leaves White Balance
White balance is critical. Never use auto white balance (AWB). Auto white balance will cause an above average warm photo to lose its warmth. Auto white balance is looking for typical averages and if it detects too much warm colors in a photo it will cool them down by adding a blue hue. You don't want that. Match the white balance with the lighting you are shooting under. Use sunny white balance for a sunny day and cloudy for morning and evening. To add some extra warmth, try using shade white balance.








Autumn Leaves photography, vivid color adjustment Vivid colors
Try adjusting your color settings to increase color. Increase the color saturation or vivid setting. This will increase the strength of the color in your images. Another possible method is to turn up your Contrast control. This will also make the colors come to life. Another tip in achieving good color saturation in your images is to set the ISO as low as possible. Keep it down to 100 or 200. If you brought along your tripod this shouldn't be a problem. This setting will also keep the digital noise level down creating a better quality image.







Autumn Leaves photography, composition Composition
Keep your photo as simple as possible. Instead of trying to get the entire valley in your shot focus on one tree or even just a few leaves. Of course, a path or roadway with multiple trees on each side can be nice too. Look for symmetry such as a road with trees planted equal distant from each other on both sides. There are two ways to compose autumn foliage as your subject. Either use them as a backdrop to a scene such as a barn or waterfall. Or use them as your main subject. Either way works but don't try to do both. In other words, the leaves are either you subject or your back drop.