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Smartphone Tips: How to Take Fantastic Fall Foliage Photos

Fall foliage

It’s finally fall, and that means cooler temps, gentle breezes and colorful autumn foliage that makes a striking backdrop for family photos as well as artsy and fabulously frame-worthy nature snaps.

When Should You Go?

When to take the most ideal shots depends on where you live. In colder, mountainous regions like the Rockies, Adirondacks and much of New England, peak foliage time is September into early October. In the Northeast, Western plains states and the mid-Atlantic coast, foliage peaks in mid-to-late October. In California, the Deep South and warmer regions, head out in early November.

Test Your Techniques

When the time is right and you’re ready to work your magic, your smartphone is the smart choice for capturing Mother Nature in all her multi-hued glory.

One of the most underutilized smartphone tips for budding photographers is to use a tripod. Professionals use them all the time, so if you want the best results, take one on your fall foliage photo shoot. It doesn’t need to be fancy, just sturdy and still. You can even make one yourself.

Another way to score breathtaking photos is to experiment with a tree-changing time-lapse setting. Some smartphones have built-in time-lapse feature apps. If your phone doesn’t, you can download an app. Essentially, you can set your phone to take photos at various intervals, such as one photo per second or one photo every hour. Imagine how cool it would be to zoom in on one tree, leave your phone aimed for several hours in the same spot, and record the progression of this scientific phenomenon. (Did you know leaves don’t actually change color? They simply stop producing chlorophyll that masks the always-present yellow, orange and purple pigments.)

Don’t Run Out of Juice

It’s a mystery for the ages: How can smartphones be so smart but their batteries so quickly depleted? Until some avid entrepreneur comes up with a solution, do yourself a favor. Don’t head out to your photo shoot without a portable cell phone charger. Nothing slams the brakes on a fun fall photo shoot like a dead camera. The shots you miss could be the money shots. Eliminate that risk by packing a portable charger.

Fall is in the air! Enjoy the foliage before you find yourself sidelined by raking duty!