If your theme is to capture the colors of the fall, what would you advise a photographer to have in mind? And to make it more specific, the photographer asking for your advice is beginner-to-intermediate when it comes to landscape photography.

Having this specific scenario in mind:

  1. What gear would you make sure not to forget?
  2. What time of day is most appropriate and why?
  3. What light are looking for to emphasize the amazing bright autumn colours?
  4. How much can the vantage point influence the results?
  5. Any techniques specific to landscape photography to improve the autumn shot?
  6. Any particularities to be aware of if the location is in Ontario, Canada?

This might seem like a landscape photography primer, but links to useful an well put together articles, or exemplary bodies of work would also be much appreciated.


2 Answers 2


Tip list

  • Use circular polarizers
  • The "golden hour" at sunset and sunrise are typically the best
  • Don't be afraid to shoot mid day, the sky can be blue and contrasts well with the bright colors
  • Get up close to the trees, underneath or even on them for perspective
  • Wide angle lenses are a must, but telephoto lenses offer a nice secondary option
  • Most of Ontario, Canada probably peaks early in September for color
  • Macro lenses are great to get down and shoot the decay at ground level
  • Tripod
  • Cable release(or self timer if you wish)

Considering that you are in Ontario, CA - I would think you could even get the opportunity to get some great fall leaves with snow shots. These are favorites of mine, water/ice on a stream together with red/orange leaves and white snow - AWESOME!

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Add to this list: Bring a tripod and cable (remote) release and some waterproofing -- even plastic bags. Bring rags to wipe down wet, dirty or muddy stuff if you decide to wade into a stream. Look for water reflections. Shoot a lot! \$\endgroup\$
    – Steve Ross
    Commented Sep 30, 2011 at 20:32

A few quick ideas / hints

Shoot Details

  • a single leaf
  • detail of bark
  • leaves on a wet rock
  • a drop of water on the end of a leaf

Justapose - put something surprising in the scene

  • how about an autumn-coloured car?


  • Placing one or more people in your scene can add a sense of scale
  • It can add a centre of interest, drawing the eye to a face

Typical Landscape Suggestions

  • Include a foreground, middle ground and background
  • Don't be afraid of long exposures - they can do nice things with those trees

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