How to Take Great Foliage Photos

September 16, 2014


Leaf-peep your brains out this fall. Then bring home some foliage photos that actually replicate the brain-popping colors you just witnessed. Here’s how:

  • Motivate on wet mornings after a rain; bright foliage often awaits.
  • Use a polarizing filter, which enhances foliage color by eliminating reflected glare from leaf surfaces.
  • Adjust the white balance setting on your camera appropriately to ensure your shot has sufficiently “warm” colors (reds, oranges).
  • Auto-white balance settings for “shade” and “direct sun” will add the greatest warming effects to your shots.
  • Watch for overcast days and cloudy moments to provide even lighting, especially in forest settings.
  • Avoid taking pictures in glaring midday sun, which creates both harsh contrast and diminished colors. Seek morning and evening shots for the best lighting.

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Matt Heid

Equipped blogger Matt Heid is AMC's gear guru: He loves gear and he loves using it in the field. While researching several guidebooks, including AMC's Best Backpacking in New England, he has hiked thousands of miles across New England, California, and Alaska, among other wilderness destinations. He also cycles, climbs, and surfs.