Fall is Almost Here!

fall-foliage-jwt The best photographic time of the year is on our doorstep. With the trees starting to change and the temperatures getting comfortable, there’s no better time to get that camera out. We’ve got some tips for getting the best out of your camera this fall.

1. Use the right filters

A polarizing filter is a “must have” for great digital fall foliage pictures. A polarizer creates dramatic fall foliage pictures by darkening the sky, increasing contrast, deepening colors, and removing the sheen from the leaves. With digital photography, colored filters from the film days are not needed but filters designed to enhance reds and oranges, and graduated effects can really add drama to your foliage photography. 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.
The other “must have” filter for great fall foliage pictures is a variable neutral density filter. These filters reduce light entering the lens, allowing you to use slower shutter speeds to gain motion to your photos. Combining a neutral density filter with a tripod allows you to take beautiful images where leaves¬† swirl in color. These filters are even more vital when shooting fall images with water or waterfalls. Slower shutter speeds make water appear smoother and cleaner. Shop Variable Neutral Density Filters in our store.
Other useful filters include Color / Neutral Graduated filters and Enhancing filters. Color / Neutral Graduated filters 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. A third 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).

2. Pay attention to the weather

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 polarizing filter.

3. Use a tripod

For the sharpest possible image, having your camera stable allows an ISO of 100 or 200. Since the camera will be stable, a quick shutter speed is no longer a necessity. Tripods are a necessity when shooting photos of waterfalls or waves. Remember to use a remote release or self timer to prevent motion when pressing the shutter. Shop Tripods in our store.

4. Shoot in the “magic hour”

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.

5. Experiment and take lots of pictures

Since you are shooting more with your digital camera, you’ll be able to edit out some images before showing off your work to family and friends.¬† You can find some beautiful and unique pictures at different angles. Try to photograph your subject from several different angles.

6. Once you have your great picture, have us turn it into something special

Different types of paper can have huge effects on the quality of your photograph. We print on dozens of different paper types, metallic paper, wood, and metal. Stop in to discuss which of these would be best for your picture or Order prints online.

7. Above all have fun!

It’s beautiful out there. The trees are only part of what makes fall one of the best times of the year. Temperatures are finally comfortable. Find somewhere special with the people you love and make some memories.

Fall Foliage Websites and Hotlines

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.

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 - Late October
Late September - Mid October
Early September - Mid October
New Hampshire
Late September - Mid October
New York
Late September - Late October
Early October
Early September - Late October
September - Late November
Late October
Late September - Late October
Rhode Island
Late September - Mid October

Remember to visit Bergen County Camera in Westwood, NJ for filters, tripods, lenses, cameras and prints. 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? Comment on this post, Like and Message us on Facebook, or E-mail us!