Shooting fall colors is something I instinctively do. I will stop in my tracks to record orange leaves against a blue sky or red leaves on a still-green lawn. The richness of fall colors is a magnet to me and my camera.
But what do you do if you aren’t in New England, with its famous fall colors?
- Fall in Santa Fe
- Shooting fall colors in Williamsburg, Virginia
- Now it’s your turn
Fall in Santa Fe
Shooting fall colors in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a wonderful challenge to any former New Englander. Gone are the sugar maples with large orange, yellow, and red leaves. In their place, you’ll find new trees, such as aspens, with their vivid but small yellow leaves.
You’ll also find different ways to imply fall in your photos.
Look for colorful berries when shooting fall colors
Many shrubs have berries that change color in the fall. The berries on this Scarlet Pyracantha glow orange in the afternoon sun and pop against the dark green leaves. A photo of them is sure to evoke feelings of autumn.
Dried weeds take on a golden glow
I have no idea what the name of this plant is, but when I found it growing next to an old fence post along a desert road near Santa Fe, New Mexico, it reminded me of autumn. When you’re shooting fall colors, keep an eye out for plants or weeds with golden leaves.
Don’t forget professional landscaping when you’re shooting fall colors
We stayed at La Posada de Santa Fe in November of 2018, where the landscaping changed as we wandered along the paths. Old trees blended with new shrubs and grasses, and all of them begged to be photographed.
Remember to shoot iconic scenes of fall
Hints of autumn abound in this photo.
The chili peppers hanging to dry in the fall sunlight hint at hot and spicy winter dishes. Behind them, the stack of firewood is ready for a warm fire when the temperature drops.
Shooting fall colors in Williamsburg, Virginia
While Virginia is far from New England, it has a familiar feeling of fall, with many similar trees and shrubs. Fall occurs later and is usually not as colorful, but you can capture many beautiful scenes in the autumn months.
The doors of Colonial Williamsburg are adorned with colorful and natural wreaths starting in mid-November. When the house and door are painted with fall colors, it makes for an even better shot!
Include people and animals in your fall photos
In the fall, the temperatures are perfect for a game of catch (better known as “steal the toy”) with our dogs and granddogs. I love how our granddog, Enzo, matches the golden leaves in the background.
See the orange leaf next to Enzo’s front leg? When the first frost comes, it will look like it’s coated with sugar crystals. Be sure to get out early to take your photos of frost.
Get down close to take the shot when you’re shooting fall colors in the frost. You’ll be rewarded with the sparkling details of ice crystals glistening in the early light.
No garden, no problem
If you’re living in a part of the world that has no fall season, you can still shoot fall colors. Head to the market or the park to find colorful mums or even something more exotic, like this Spider Hibiscus in Bangkok.
Now it’s your turn
If you’re unsure about using the settings on your camera, my online workshop will teach you everything you need to know about using your camera for photos you love! Since it’s all prerecorded and online, you don’t even have to leave home to learn. Better yet, you can learn at your own pace. You can finish it in a weekend or as slowly as you’d like! https://www.carolinemaryan.com/camera-mechanics-workshops-info/
I’ve written about shooting fall colors before! What can I say… it’s seasonal. 😉
In my post last fall, I explained how to make your fall photos pop. https://www.carolinemaryan.com/make-fall-colors-pop/
If you’re having trouble identifying the plants in your photos, here’s an article about good plant identification apps for iPhone and also android. If I take a photo with my DSLR, I export it to my desktop and then import it to my Photos app on my laptop. Then, I open one of these apps on my iPhone and use the photo I imported to Photos for identification. If I took the photo with my iPhone, I already have it in the Photos app. I’m currently using PictureThis. https://backgarden.org/plant-identification-apps/