Gear Up for Fall’s Amazing Colors and Scenes

Gear Up for Fall’s Amazing Colors and Scenes

Words & Images by Rockbrook Camera Staff

The Fall season in the midwest is a special time. After months of heat, we get to button up and enjoy the outdoors as the colors shift and change into something special.


This year, it’s time to get the best images of the season you’ve ever captured with a few tips for you from your friends at Rockbrook Camera.


1 - Tell the story

Photography is stronger when there’s a story attached to the photographs, and having a series of photos to tell the story together is long-standing tradition.

An easy way to do this is to photograph in a sequence that goes from wide to medium to close-up photographs.

The wide photograph tells us about the location and the bigger picture.


Autumn pond with subdued colors

Waterfall in the autumn at Nebraska's Platte River State Park

Autumn trees reaching to the sky

Kim Fogle


The medium photographs get us a little closer and ask the viewer to begin to pay attention to what you are bringing them into the scene for.


Old shed with peeling paint and yellow leaves overhead

Autumn leaves from vines covering an old building

Autumn leaves hanging off an old building

Jerred Zegelis


Finally, the close and extreme close shots give the viewer a granular look at what makes the location special, such as the details of a leaf.

Dried berries and dying leaves on a bush

Kim Fogle

Pretty orange leaf in a little child's hand

Jerred Zegelis


2 - Golden Hour

If you go out for 45 minutes after sunrise or before sunset, the light becomes very different. With the sun at a lower point in the horizon, the intensity of light is lower and tones and hues are usually more subdued. This allows the golden colors of Fall to find even more brilliance! 

Flowers during golden hour

Yellow leaf with dramatic lighting from golden hour

Jerred Zegelis 

3 - Contrasting Color


The Fall is a great time to experiment with color combinations in your nature photographs. Pay attention to a single leaf amidst others that stands out due to the contrasting color.

Single red leaf on the ground

Single red leaf among brown leaves

Jerred Zegelis


4 - Overcast Light is Great!

Yes, the golden hour is beautiful, but soft overcast light on a cloudy day is definitely a “Fall” story. This light softens the shadows and contrast of your images, which can create a dreamy quality to your photos, perfect to go with the idea of bundling up for warmth.

Yellow leaf on an overcast day

Jerred Zegelis


If you are photographing in the middle of the day in bright light, still use the sun to your advantage. Strive to create interesting compositions through highlights and shadows that make an interesting photo with depth as well as detail. 

Moth sitting on a pile of leaves by Mia Fisher

High contrast orange leaves on a bright sunny day

Mia Fisher


5 - WAIT! Don’t rake…

Before you rake, consider using the natural beauty and texture of fallen leaves to enhance your Fall portraits!

Three corgis hanging out in the autumn leaves by Alan Holtmeier

Alan Holtmeier


6 - Experiment with the Camera's Color Profile

Have fun playing with your camera’s color profile. These profiles can enhance the beauty that’s already present in the Fall.

In-Camera color settings

Boosting the color tone and saturation brings out more of the color, and increasing contrast creates a rich separation between light and dark areas of your photos.

Different camera manufacturers allow you to adjust the look and feel of the photos, so the best way to find what you like is to go out and experiment with different settings for the right look and feel to your Fall photographs.

Different color setting examples of a fall tree with pretty leaves

Ian Paskach 


7 - Use a Polarizer Filter

Consider using a polarizer filter to get deeper colors and less reflections in your fall photographs. A polarizer works by canceling out certain frequencies of reflective light, allowing you to capture more of the natural beauty.

Bill holding a polarizer filter

Example using a polarizer filter making the sky and shadows more intense


8 - Composition, Composition, Composition

Don’t forget to have a definite subject somewhere to draw the viewers eye, not just a bunch of colorful leaves. When shooting, look around and use your environment to fully capture a foreground, middle ground, and background to enhance your composition to lead the eye through the entire image.

Fishing by a blue pond in autumn with golden trees in the distance

People walking by an autumn tree

Mike Flowers 


Want to know more about how to get great Fall photos? Check out our previous blogs here:
Quick Tips for Capturing Fall Landscapes
Wildlife Photography Tips

If you need inspiration on where to go, check out our list of local outdoor photography locations for Eastern Nebraska.



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