Fall In Love With Fall!How To Shoot Autumn Colors

Red and yellow and orange, oh my!

It’s officially fall and you know what the means: gorgeous colors everywhere begging to be photographed.

But fall colors can be a tad tricky to capture accurately, so we’re giving you some tips to get it juuust right.

Put on your cutest autumn accessories and let’s go!


1. Polarize It

beforeUse a polarising filter on your DSLR. Or use a polarising lens (like the one we have in the shop!) on your cam phone.

Wait, Polar-what?
A polarizer is like a teeny tiny set of mini blinds that block light from only one angle. So it blocks only the harshest of highlights–or the reflection in a window–and still lets in all the other light to capture a glare-free scene.

Why use it?before
Not only does a polarizer reduce glare on things like leaves so you don’t lose any of that amazing color, it also helps saturate your colors so they really pop. This is especially helpful for making a blue sky even more blue!

And it’s easy to use, too. Whether you’re using a filter on your DSLR or a lens on your phone, just rotate the outer wheel of the polarizer until you’re satisfied with what you see in your shot.

2. Underexpose (Just Slightly)

It may seem that brighter is always better, but try keeping your fall shots a bit on the darker side by underexposing ’em.

Underexposing your shots is another helpful way to keep your colors deep and dynamic! If you overexpose you risk losing some saturation, resulting in washed-out tones. Boo.

On your DSLR, lower the exposure compensation between -0.5EV and -1.0EV. On your iPhone, long-tap the screen until a brightness slider appears. Swipe down to make the shot darker.

3. Experiment With White Balance

beforeIt’s tempting to trust the auto setting, but try different white balances until you find one that best complements your subject and light!

The auto white balance settings may leave you with cooler rather than warmer tones, which will turn your pretty yellows into not-so-pretty greens. A setting like “cloudy” or “daylight” will keep things warmer!

More tips?
If you’re not happy with any of the pre-settings, make a custom white balance with The White Balance Lens Cap to get your colors perfect every time.

4. Shoot During Golden Hours

beforeGrab your camera right after sunrise or right before sunset. These are the “golden hours” of the day and they’re ideal for shooting autumnal colors!

The lighting during golden hours is very soft and warm (they don’t call it golden for nothin’!). This light bring out the reds, yellows, and golds of autumn leaves. Your shots will look truly magical when taken at these time of day.

More tips?
Overcast days are also great for capturing deep, saturated tones ’cause harsh sunlight won’t be around to wash out your colors!

Taking it Further


  • Wondering where (and when) to take peak fall photos? Check out this super cool Fall Foliage Map and figure out the best time to capture autumn magic near you!
  • Leaves can be just as fun to photograph once they’re no longer on the trees. Snap a sweet action shot of a friend jumping into a huge pile of leaves, or have ’em throw the leaves up in the air so you can snap away as they rain down.
  • If fall colors are beautiful from afar, imagine how much more intense they’ll be once viewed super duper close up! Grab a macro lens from the shop and use it to capture a new, exciting view of your fave autumn colors.