Fall Foliage: Tips and State Foliage Websites

Foliage Photography:
Tips for great pictures

Foliage Maps:

–>> The Foliage Network Maps – website with frequent updates and color maps of the northeastern United States.

Filters

A polarizing filter is really the only “must have” filter to bring along for great digital fall foliage pictures. A polarizer creates dramatic fall foliage pictures by darkening the sky, increasing contrast and deepening colors and removing the sheen from the leaves. Most other filter effects such as enhancing reds and oranges, sepia and graduated effects can be easily created in Photoshop. Your standard protective UV filter should be removed before putting your polarizer on – never stack filters. Also, don’t forget to remove your polarizer when you move back inside, as it reduces light by one to two f-stops. Shop Polarizers in our online store.


Click to see image with and without a polarizer.

A second type of filter is an enhancing filter which does just what the name implies – enhances. This filter is especially effective with the bright primary colors of autumn (reds, oranges and browns). A third filter is a Color / Neutral Graduated filter which utilizes a color (or gray) that gradually diminishes from dark to light across the filter. These filters are often used to deepen the sky or to balance the exposure between foreground and background, which helps you keep the sky blue rather than washed out.

Tips

  • Nothing takes away from foliage more than a bright white overcast sky. In these situations, try to reduce the amount of sky in your images or use a Neutral Graduated filter.
  • Dramatic storm clouds of autumn thunderstorms interspersed with blue sky make a stunning backdrop for the brilliant colors of fall, especially when the vivid colors are brought out with a polarizer filter.
  • Use a tripod for the sharpest possible image. This will allow an ISO of 100 or 200. Remember to use a remote release or self timer to prevent motion when pressing the shutter.
  • Colors are warmer and can be more dramatic closer to sunrise and sunset. The hour before and after sunrise and sunset are considered by many to be the “magic hours” where you get an amazing quality of light.
  • Experiment, take lots of pictures and above all have fun!
  • Since you are shooting more with your digital camera, be sure to edit out some images before showing off your work to family and friends
Once you’ve assembled your camera and a few filters, all you’ll need is foliage at the peak of color. We’ve assembled a list of state hotlines below to help schedule your trip. Need some ideas for places to shoot, be sure to visit Bergen County Camera’s Where to take great Pictures page. Have some suggestions of your own? Please send us an email or comment on this post.

Fall foliage websites and hotlines

The Foliage Network – website with frequent updates and color maps of the northeastern United States.

State by State foliage websites – click on your state of interest below.

New Jersey 
mid to late October 
Connecticut
 Late September - mid October 
Maine 
Early September - mid October
Massachusetts
October 
New Hampshire 
Late September - mid October
New York
Late September - late October
Pennsylvania 
Early October
Vermont 
Early September - Late October
Virginia 
September - Late November
Delaware 
Late October
Maryland 
Late September - Late October
Rhode Island 
Late September - mid October 

Remember to visit Bergen County Camera for filters, tripods, lenses, cameras and prints.

Where to Photograph Fireworks – Locations and Tips 2016

North Jersey’s parade, fireworks and celebration map

List of North Jersey fireworks, times and dates

Here are some basic starting points

Please let us know if you get some great shots we’d love to see!
Please feel free to leave your comments and suggestions. Have a great 4th of July Holiday weekend from all of us at BCC.

Find a fireworks display on NJ.com‘s 4th of July celebrations page.

  • Use a tripod
  • Electronic release, 2 second self timer to eliminate shake or by carefully pressing the shutter button to minimize shake.
  • Manually set your camera ISO to 100 (You do not want Auto ISO)
  • Lens Choice – Wide Angle Zoom to frame what you’d like to capture
  • Auto White Balance or Daylight
  • Set your lens to manual focus then focus to infinity (take a test image and make sure things are sharp) Don’t forget to switch back to auto focus when done shooting
  • Method 1 – Set your camera to Manual exposure – Try 5 seconds at f/8 – 16 – this will allow you to capture several bursts
  • Method 2 – Try setting you camera to the “B” setting in manual – keep the shutter depressed at f/ 8 – 16 for several bursts
  • Carefully release the shutter if not using a release to capture from one to several bursts

**Evaluate your exposure – Shorter exposures (or smaller apertures ) will darken the image and capture shorter trails, Longer exposures (or larger apertures ) will lighten the image and capture longer trails.** If necessary make adjustments and take some more shots

If you are using a point a shoot, check your camera’s manual to see if you have a fireworks mode.

Improving Fireworks photos

Shoot with a tripod – it will give a more natural cascade of light.

Shooting the Finale!

The finale is many times brighter than rest of the show. Be ready to choose a shorter exposure or smaller aperture to prevent overexposure. The exposure you need is dependent on the number of simultaneous bursts. In some really incredible finales you may find yourself shooting at 1/4 or 1/8th of a second. Experiment for best results.

Why use a tripod?

Hand-held image above shows motion from camera shake in the burst of light.

The image below is steadied by a tripod, 5 seconds, f/16 at 100 ISO

Other Techniques

Set your camera to B and lock open your shutter – keep the lens covered with a dark hat and remove the hat to capture a burst then recover and repeat to capture several bursts. Just be careful not to bump your camera.
You can even zoom the lens during exposure for some interesting effects

Experiment and best of all have fun.

Happy Independence Day.

EagleFest Meet up event – February 6th

eagle-event

Join us at EagleFest on Saturday, February 6th at 9 am at the main ticket area. Paul Carretta and Al Schwab from the store will be there to answer questions during the event. This is a meetup event so purchasing tickets and transportation will be your responsibility. We’ll have a follow up in the store during a future Saturday Focus Session. Tickets are available from Teatown in advance or at the event ($15) with discounts for children under 12. Advance ticket special end on February 3rd at 5 pm. Order your EagleFest tickets here.

For full event information please download the full EagleFest 2016 Event Information

 

eagle-fest-bcc

Free Focus Saturday Focus Sessions January – February

Focus sessions are free and take place in our store from 9:30 am – 10:15 am. All sessions will allow for questions and answers. Please bring your camera and any images along that you have questions about. Feel free to use the comment option to make suggestions for future focus sessions.

focusbanner1Hit the “Like Button” to let your friends know. Have suggestions for future focus sessions? Feel free to leave a comment.

 

Here’s our upcoming Focus Sessions:

January 23 – Cancelled – Verify with store before venturing out in the snow.

January 30 – Shooting Basketball

February 6 – to be determined

February 13 – Jim Lager of Leica fame talks about photographing birds

February 20 – f2.8 vs f5.6

February 27 – Print formats, from square to panaramic – how to showcase your images

These are free events – bring a friend along if you’d like. Share with your friends on Facebook – Click the Like button below. Hope you can join us!

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Where to Photograph Fireworks – Locations and Tips 2015

North Jersey’s parade, fireworks and celebration map

List of North Jersey fireworks, times and dates

Here are some basic starting points

Please let us know if you get some great shots we’d love to see!
Please feel free to leave your comments and suggestions. Have a great 4th of July Holiday weekend from all of us at BCC.

Find a fireworks display on NorthJersey.com‘s 4th of July celebrations page.

  • Use a tripod
  • Electronic release, 2 second self timer to eliminate shake or by carefully pressing the shutter button to minimize shake.
  • Manually set your camera ISO to 100 (You do not want Auto ISO)
  • Lens Choice – Wide Angle Zoom to frame what you’d like to capture
  • Auto White Balance or Daylight
  • Set your lens to manual focus then focus to infinity (take a test image and make sure things are sharp) Don’t forget to switch back to auto focus when done shooting
  • Method 1 – Set your camera to Manual exposure – Try 5 seconds at f/8 – 16 – this will allow you to capture several bursts
  • Method 2 – Try setting you camera to the “B” setting in manual – keep the shutter depressed at f/ 8 – 16 for several bursts
  • Carefully release the shutter if not using a release to capture from one to several bursts

**Evaluate your exposure – Shorter exposures (or smaller apertures ) will darken the image and capture shorter trails, Longer exposures (or larger apertures ) will lighten the image and capture longer trails.** If necessary make adjustments and take some more shots

If you are using a point a shoot, check your camera’s manual to see if you have a fireworks mode.

Improving Fireworks photos

Shoot with a tripod – it will give a more natural cascade of light.

Shooting the Finale!

The finale is many times brighter than rest of the show. Be ready to choose a shorter exposure or smaller aperture to prevent overexposure. The exposure you need is dependent on the number of simultaneous bursts. In some really incredible finales you may find yourself shooting at 1/4 or 1/8th of a second. Experiment for best results.

Why use a tripod?

Hand-held image above shows motion from camera shake in the burst of light.

The image below is steadied by a tripod, 5 seconds, f/16 at 100 ISO

Other Techniques

Set your camera to B and lock open your shutter – keep the lens covered with a dark hat and remove the hat to capture a burst then recover and repeat to capture several bursts. Just be careful not to bump your camera.
You can even zoom the lens during exposure for some interesting effects

Experiment and best of all have fun.

Happy Independence Day.

Places to Photograph: New Croton Dam, Croton-on-Hudson, NY

Crotondambanner

View a full list of great local photo locations.

The New Croton Dam (also known as Cornell Dam), part of the New York City water supply system, stretches across the Croton River near Croton-on-Hudson, New York. Located about 50 minutes from our store, Croton Dam makes a great day trip or picnic destination . Construction began in 1892 and was completed in 1906. The masonry dam is 266 feet  broad at its base and 297 feet high from base to crest. At the time of its completion, it was the tallest dam in the world. New Croton Dam impounds up to 19 billion gallons of water. The dam has an unusual spillway, part artificial and part natural, which forms a waterfall on the north side of the structure.

Photos by: Alfred Hess

Places To Shoot

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our February 28th Focus Session and made some great suggestions for places to shoot. Here’s the resulting list of locations to take your camera for some great photos.

United Water and the Oradell Reservoir – Oradell, Haworth, Harrington Park, Emerson – View on Google Maps

Haverstraw Marina – West Haverstraw, NY – View on Google Maps

The Meadowlands – Dekorte Park – Lyndhurst, NJ – View on Google Maps

Mill Creek Marsh, Secaucus, NJ – View on Google Maps

World of Wings Butterfly Museum – Teaneck, NJ – View On Google Maps

Rockland Lake State Park and Golf Course – Valley Cottage, NY – View on Google Maps

Van Saun Park – Paramus, NJ – View on Google Maps

Turtleback Zoo – West Orange, NJ – View On Google Maps

Space Farms – Wantage, NJ – View On Google Maps

Wyckoff Nature Center – Wyckoff, NJ – View On Google Maps

New Croton Dam – Croton-on-Hudson, NY – View On Google MapsView More On Our Blog

Cooper’s Pond – Bergenfield, NJ – View On Google Maps

Palisades Cliff Lookouts – Alpine, NJ View On Google Maps

Greenbrook Sanctuary – Tenafly, NJ – View On Google Maps

Stateline Lookout – Alpine, NJ – Sunday April 26th 12-3pm Visitor’s Day – View On Google Maps

Ringwood Manor – Ringwood, NJ – View On Google Maps

Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge – Gillette, NJ – View On Google Maps

Lake Mohonk and the Mohonk Mountain House – New Paltz, NY – View On Google Maps

Liberty Marsh – Warwick, NY – View On Google Maps

Glen Rock Arboretum – Glen Rock, NJ – View On Google Maps

Crestwood Lake – Allendale, NJ – View On Google Maps

Celery Farm – Allendale, NJ – View On Google Maps

Laurelwood Arboretum – Wayne, NJ – View On Google Maps

Rockefeller State Preserve – Sleepy Hollow, NY – View On Google Maps

Deep Cut Gardens – Middletown, NJ – View On Google Maps

West Point, NY – View On Google Maps

Princeton, NJ – View On Google Maps

Ellis Island – Hospital – SaveEllisIsland.orgView On Google Maps

Iris Garden – Presby Memorial – Montclair, NJ – View On Google Maps

Willowwood Arboretum – Kingston, NY

Duke Farms – Hillsborough Township, NJView On Google Maps

Harriman – Stony Brook Trail – Sloatsburg, NY View On Google Maps

Greenwood Garden – Short Hills, NJ – View On Google Maps

Eagle Rock Reserve – Montclair, NJ – View On Google Maps

Raptor’s Trust – Long Hill, NJ – View On Google Maps

Ramapo Valley County Reservation – Mahwah, NJ – View On Google Maps

Rockefeller Estate – Tarrytown, NY – View On Google Maps

Sleepy Hollow Cemetary – Sleepy Hollow, NY – View On Google Maps

Camden Aquarium – Canden, NJ – View On Google Maps

Lake Minnwaska – New Paltz, NY – View On Google Maps

Storm King – New Windsor, NY – View On Google Maps

Mid Hudson Bridge and The Walkway Over The Hudson – Poughkeepsie, NY – View On Google Maps

Paterson Great Falls – Paterson, NJ View On Google Maps

Fort Hancock – Sandy Hook – View On Google Maps

Ferry Road – Piermont, NY – View On Google Maps

Fort Lee Historic Park – Fort Lee, NJ – View On Google Maps

The Cloisters – New York City – View On Google Maps

Ricketts Glen State Park – Benton, PA – View On Google Maps

Free Focus Sessions – March 2015

Focus sessions are free and take place in our store from 9:30 am – 10 am. All sessions will allow for questions and answers. Please bring your camera and any images along that you have questions about. Feel free to use the comment option to make suggestions for future focus sessions.

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Hit the “Like Button” to let your friends know. Have suggestions for future focus sessions? Feel free to leave a comment.

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Here’s our upcoming Focus Sessions:

February 28 – Share Your Favorite Places

March 7 – Living Pictures with Lytro

March 14 – Drones

March 21 – Water: Form and Elegance

March 28 – Spring is Here!

These are free events – bring a friend along if you’d like. Share with your friends on Facebook – Click the Like button below. Hope you can join us!

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