Every October the National Park Foundation announces the peak parks for viewing autumn's colorful transformation to winter. While the 2011 list is not out yet, you can bet that perennial favorites such as Virginia's Blue Ridge Parkway, Maine's Acadia National Park and California's Yosemite National Park will be included.
If you are fortunate enough to view the fall foliage at one of these top spots, or if you are simply standing in your backyard, staring with awe at your favorite oak tree, you'll want to snap a few pictures. Here are some tips to get the best snaps of your leafy models:
- Shoot on an overcast day, or when the sun sneaks behind a passing cloud, which will make the color of the leaves pop out. If shooting during an overcast day, minimize the amount of sky in your shots—focus only on the trees.
- On clear days, aim to shoot in the morning or evening to take advantage of the “golden hours.” Plus, the air is cleaner in the mornings, so your shots will turn out less hazy.
- Change the angle of your shot. Lie on your back and shoot up or aim down for a reflection in a clear rain puddle.
- Don't forget about the evergreens. A well-placed evergreen tree in your shot will contrast wonderfully with the turning trees.
- While the trees are breathtaking as a whole, also focus on individual leaves, preferably shot with a soft, out-of-focus background.
- Backlighting the tree, with the sun directly behind it, can create a dramatic shot.
- Bring a lens cloth. Your lens will be besieged with dust and moisture while shooting outside for a long period of time.
- Your camera's "vivid" mode was created for this time of the year. Use it.