Capture beautiful and inspiring fall images with these fun and easy tips

In many parts of the United States, the fall is the best time of year for photography. Vibrant colors exploding in foliage make great enlargements, especially canvas prints.

Timing is everything. Every state is different, and viewing conditions can change from year to year. Consult this list from the for prime state-by-state fall foliage times, with links to the latest color info.

Timing is everything, part two. Look for bright sunny days, and opportunities for direct light striking leaves. Nature photographers often shoot in the first hour of the day or the last hour before sunset — known as the “golden hour” — but the bright mid-day sunshine can also be stunning.

Get wet is a good bet. While bright sunshine is a good time, a post-rain photo session can be a boost, too. The rain darkens tree trunks and branches, which can provide a startling contrast in the right light.

Don’t fear the meter. Because you are shooting into the bright sky — even if it’s shrouded in leaves – can fool your camera’s exposure meter. Try underexposing the picture; this will help intensify the colors. If you’re comfortable with the different metering modes on your camera, experiment with these as well. Sometimes center-weighted metering looks good, while other times multi-point metering may look better. Don’t forget: Most photo software lets you adjust exposure, so you can also do this at home.

Filter frenzy. Filters can make fall colors pop. Try a color intensifier filter to enhance colors, while a UV filter can cut through hazy air to clarify images. If you are photographing fall colors across a lake or pond, a polarizing filter can remove unwanted reflections. If you are only familiar with filters on your camera phone app, you’ll be surprised what a effects a real filter can have on your photos.

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