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Use Light to Your Advantage to Photograph Fall Foliage in Any Kind of Weather!

Fall foliage only lasts for a few weeks, so take advantage of every opportunity to photograph those brilliant fall colors, no matter what the weather! Here are some ideas for photographing the fall foliage in less than “ideal” conditions:

Rain produces wonderful reflections and color saturation! You may need to use a Circular Polarizing filter to reduce glare.

Red Leaf in the rain


Early Morning Dew and Frost will define the fall foliage in beautiful ways, enhancing colors and lines. Again, you may need to use a Circular Polarizing filter to reduce glare.

Maple Leaves with dew


Mist & Fog can create stunning, ethereal, “other-worldly” images. You may need to manually focus as well as adjust the exposure to compensate for the camera not being able to focus or calculate the proper exposure due to the mist or fog.

Red Maple in the fog


Overcast skies can also provide great saturation of color, without glare or harsh shadows, just like when photographing flowers. Compose your image to eliminate the overcast sky.

Fall Foliage Gunston Hall


If you are fortunate to have a beautiful sunny day, use the sun to enhance the fall foliage. Photograph the foliage backlit with the sun. Underexpose the image by 1/3 stop to enhance the color.

Fall along the C&O Canal - Anglers


On a windy day, use a slow shutter speed and let the wind create the movement in your photo, for an impressionistic image. If you cannot get a slow enough shutter speed, use a neutral density filter.

Fall Foliage Tidal Basin

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