Tips for Taking Better Fall Foliage Photos

August 27, 2013

The beauty can last for years with good photos. RVers Gerry and Myrna Courtney have written and photo-illustrated more than 300 articles in the last twenty-five years. Some of Myrna’s photos of Maine and New Hampshire accompany this column.

Here are Gerry’s tips for foliage photos:

  • Foliage pictures are more brilliant and dramatic when taken in early morning or late afternoon light, when the glow comes through the leaves.
  • Avoid mid-day sun, which washes out the color.
  • Look for foliage near water and include the reflection, avoiding overhead light.
  • A dirt road with a canopy of foliage overhead is emphasized with something in the foreground, such as a fence, or stone wall or shrub to show the depth. This is true for long shots, also, such as several distant mountain ranges.
  • For close-ups, try some leaves after a rain storm when they are dripping with raindrops. Fill the frame with just one or two leaves, getting as close as possible while staying in focus. Use a long exposure to take a stream with leaves floating near smooth rocks for texture contrast.

Full-timer Barry Kessler was a professional photojournalist for thirty-five years before hitting the road. He continues to document the beauty of our country as he and his wife travel. Visit his Web site to view some stunning photographs of flowers and locations throughout the USA. His two photos that accompany this column were taken in Michigan in the fall.

Here are Barry’s tips:

  • When you see a subject you’d like to photograph, stop and think about what you want the picture to convey.
  • So many people just aim and shoot, where if you’d focus on a particular tree or rock, your pictures will be more composed.
  • I try to “frame” all my shots, keeping the subject in the middle.
  • Every picture you take is a learning process. If it turns out too dark, you’ll know to open the iris a little more. Every bad picture makes the next one better.
  • Be patient with yourself!

This information was taken from an article written by Alice Zyetz, who has authored or co-authored several ebooks including “The Roadmap to Affordable Retirement.” It first appeared on, and is published by KOA with full permission.

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