Different seasons offer many opportunities to photograph the world around you, but my favorite time of year both personally and photographically is autumn! Something about a chill in the morning air, the colors of the leaves and even the misty fog that is prevalent this time of year makes for some truly breathtaking scenes.
Perhaps one of my favorite images I’ve ever seen from Autumn comes from some of the footage from a movie in the 80’s called The Dead Poet’s Society. There’s a scene with a bagpiper playing his end of the day tune as birds take to the air, and the notes float across the lake. The footage comes from Vermont, at a boy’s prep school, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find scenes worthy of a shutter click in your own neck of the woods.
Time is drawing nigh for photo gathering too as the autumnal equinox just happened on Sunday. The day marks the time of year when the equator of the Earth aligns with the center of the sun. In the Spring, the tilt is toward the sun and in the fall, the Earth tilts away from the sun. Both the spring and fall solstice (another term for the equinox) events indicate 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. From this point forward (until Spring anyway), the days will start getting shorter and the nights start getting longer. This means sunset will happen earlier and earlier every day.
As we get less light, a chemical reaction happens in the leaves of trees, causing the chlorophyll to break down. The chillier air also has an impact on some varieties of trees. The best trees (in my opinion) to shoot for fall foliage are Maple trees, beech, dogwoods, and Hickory because the leaf colors are the bright orange and red ones that contrast very nicely against the still blue skies (when it’s not raining).
Here’s some sample shots from my own repertoire to give you some inspiration. For this year, I am going to try and visit the Amish country of Ohio around the Hocking Hills area. Other options include Chataqua NY (there’s an awesome lake there that would be quite idyllic!). What plans do you have for shooting Fall foliage? Any places you’ve been to where you’ve gotten nice results? Sound off in the comments with your own fall foliage itineraries!