Fall Foliage Photography Tips

The display of fall colors is getting richer every day in Oregon. To help capture the brilliant colors of fall, we asked photographer Jamie Hooper to share a few tips for photographing fall colors. Put Jamie’s tips into action and then share your photos with the Oregon Fall Foliage Flickr group.

As the short-lived glory of fall explodes in Oregon, many of us head for the hills (or valleys) to capture the vibrant color before it gives away to the gray of winter. If you’re among those photographic leaf peepers, here are a few things to keep in mind.

First, as with any good photograph, frame it so you eliminate anything that’s not important to your vision. This may mean moving closer or changing your angle; but taking a few moments to think about this before you click really pays off.

WaterWater, from quiet reflected  images to a rushing creek, makes a great companion to colors this time of year. And, since vine and broadleaf maple (our main colorful trees) grow along creek beds, it’s a perfect match. Here are two tips for taking advantage. First, if you have camera that you can control the length of exposure, put it on a tripod and make the longest exposure possible – from 1/8th of a second to two seconds. It makes rushing creeks and waterfalls silky smooth, and colorful reflections in ponds or lakes more vibrant. You’ll need low light for this, so take photos like this in the early morning or late afternoon when everything is in shade. When you do, you may realize another benefit. Since shade and sky are different color temperatures (color balance) you’ll often find the water turning a beautiful warm orange.

Fall-LeavesWhile you’re enjoying the beauty around you, don’t neglect the great photos lying at your feet. Fill the frame with just a few leaves, perhaps enhanced by mushrooms or lying in pools or on dark rocks. If you scrapbook, patterns of fall leaves can make a wonderful background for photos on your pages, so start collecting them now.

Jamie Hooper, Guest Contributor
Digital Dreams


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