Our 10 favorite fall photography tips

Fall Farmers Museum

Each year I head out to the mountains to try and capture autumn’s delicate blush but after taking about two million pictures I have only three that I would keep.


Because if you’re not careful you end up with lovely fall pictures that all look the same. I worked the Catskill Mountain range with my son Aren and we’ve put together some tips to help you take fresh pictures this fall.

Fall Boys Row Pond

Tip 1: Get in the action.

Take pictures of people doing things with that fabulous fall backdrop. Here we’re rowing but other active sports like football, baseball, soccer, bicycling and running also make for great shots.


Lawn Mowing Fall

Tip 2: Shock your audience.

Aren’s picture of our 8-year-old on his grandfather’s lawnmower certainly got my attention. Isn’t he too young? Hey, don’t judge me he’s only sitting on it, not driving it.


Fall Andes Rail Trail Kids

Tip 3: Look for nice light.

I took about five pictures at the trailhead for the new Andes Rail Trail before I realized the kids faces were in shadow. I only needed to move them one step closer and look at that soft light brightening their faces.


Fall Andes Rail Trail

Tip 4: Find a natural frame for your shot.

In this picture, further along the Andes Rail Trail, an old farm was in the distance with rolling hills surrounded by a rainbow of trees. We zoomed in a little but kept the lower trail to give the picture some depth.


Fall Andes Thorny

Tip 5: Look for texture.

Ouch! You can practically feel the prickers on this thistle. Aren closed his depth of field to get the thorny weed in tight focus with the blaze of trees in the far distance.


Fall Otesaga boys

Tip 6: Get some perspective.

We had lunch in Cooperstown, New York at the luxurious Otesaga Resort Hotel and afterwards wandered the grounds to work off the rich meal. I practically laid on the ground beneath the potted plant to get blooms to sky with the boys in the soft sunlight.


Fall turkey in garden

Tip 7: Seek out nature.

Not sure how we lucked out with this shot at the Farmer’s Museum also in Cooperstown. Aren is much faster with the camera than I am so by the time I’d opened my iPhone he’d already clicked off five shots. Good thing since this bird knew where to find the back door exit.


Fall Horses Andes

Tips 8: Embrace the culture.

Yes, you will find couples out for an afternoon buggy ride, especially when the fall temperatures resemble late spring and the skies are bright blue. Aren had his camera ready snapping this photo from the backseat of our Hertz rental.


Fall Red Barn Andes

Tip 9: Share some history.

Historic markers are all over the place in the Catskill Mountains. You might like to make a stop and read a bit about the history of the lands you’re picturing. I also like to include the sixth member of our family (the Hertz rental) even though some folks think it’s goofy.


Fall Toad

Tip 10: Get closer.

Aren and I almost squished this frog it blended so well in the marshy grass where a natural spring leaks water down the mountainside. They move pretty slow when it’s cold so we were able to fire off a bunch of pictures at close range before he decided to move.


Fall Fitches Bridge

By the way, we took all these picture on the new iPhone 5s over the past week.