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on Oct 14, 2013 in Landscape Photography

Going, Going …. Captured?


When we first arrived in the Tetons, there was quite a bit of fall color even though it seemed we were well past peak. But we kept finding great patches of color up to yesterday. It brings up the question, how much fall color do you need to have in your photo to say fall. We all love the rolling hillsides a blaze with color, this requiring the perfect season and your perfect timing. I don’t know about you, but scheduling my travels a year in advance, making everything line up can be a challenge. So can we say fall without the blazing hillside?


Here are two simple methods of doing it. The first is getting down low and fill the frame with backlit color and include the sun. Shooting with the D4 / 18-35, I got down low, closed down the aperture to f/22 and went click. Than, and this is the important part, I went into ACR and brought up the shadows and brought down the highlights. The color in the middle tree is nearly gone, the tree on the far right of the frame is naked but with that sunburst in the upper right corner, the mind’s eye fills it in and we have great fall color. Another method is to find just the right sprig of color and work with it. The bottom photo is an example of this. In a forest that was mostly stumps, this one little bit of fall color remained alongside an old barn. To optically extract it the business on the right side, the sky in the top right corner, I shot with the 80-400. I used a tripod in this case because I cranked the DOF way up to get the closest leaves in focus as well as the barn side. And than with the resulting low shutter speed, I needed the tripod as the wind tried my patience. But just that hint of color makes the mind think of vast fall color. While our color is slipping away, get out and make the most of what we have left, it will brighten your winter that is just around the corner.