Monday, September 29, 2014

5 Tips for Photographing Fall Foliage.

It's finally that time again. Fall. The smell of cinnamon and pumpkin spice have entered our homes and the leaves are illuminating with golden beauty. It's a warm and breathtaking time period that politely reminds us that the winter is coming. Here in New York City, we are known world wide for our Fall scenic views. Having over 1,700 parks full of trees certainly gives New Yorkers an advantage to capture the fall foliage, properly.

Here I have generated 5 Foto Tips that can help you when documenting the Autumn leaves.

1. Find Your Light.

Seems like a no brainer, right? We all know that is the most important rule no matter what you are shooting. But, I'm going to remind us again that shooting in overcast is key to grabbing the perfect foliage photo.

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Simply because shooting in overcast basically eliminates harsh highlights and shadows, giving you visuals that you can't see in direct sunlight.

2. Wet leaves aren't as bad as they sound.

Nothing is worse than a rainy fall day and having wet leaves stuck to your boots. But, when photographing you can use this to your advantage. 

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Think about it, a wet leaf will reflect light and make the leaf look more vibrant in color and will physically look more crisp. Acknowledging this can give your overall image a drastic increase in clarity and color vibrance.

3. Utilizing Time for Color Balance

You don't have to photograph foliage at a certain time. But, I would recommend playing with sunrise or sunset lighting. Only because it will cool off your image in the shadows giving light areas a blue saturation. 

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It's a great way to build balance with your warm leaves against cool highlights without having to manually create it in Photoshop. 

4. Reflections

Water is your friend! We learned that when photographing wet leaves. Now that we know that, consider large bodies of water as winning the gold prize at the county fair. Foliage reflections are generally used when shooting wide landscapes. 

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I recommend finding a pond, grabbing a tripod and framing your shot. You want this to be symmetrical and perfectly linear. A tripod can save you a head ache with camera shake. 

5. Lenses

Photographing people or objects in front of the foliage.
  • 50mm lens. Low depth of field.
  • This allows the the person or object to be in focus, and the background foliage to be blurred, giving you the tones of the colors mixed together.
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Photographing landscapes, parks, etc
  • 24-105mm lens Wide Angle Lens,  High depth of field.
  • This allows you to shoot a fully detailed image. With a High depth of field, everything in the image will be in focus and crisp in detail. This is perfect when shooting the reflections in the lake.
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Last minute tip:

Remember, the color only lasts a couple days after the leaf has fallen. Utilize the time you have and most importantly, show us what you captured! 

- Johnny Self