Pro Andy Porter’s Guide for Shooting Fall Colors Courtney Hayes August 27, 2015 DIY, PHOTO TIPS, POPULAR Andy Porter is a photographer with a gift for shooting astounding nature photos. Based out of Skagit Valley in Washington, he views photography as an outdoor adventure and below he shares his tips for photographing fall colors. Mount Shuksan via Andy Porter Images The search for autumn colors is not far off. Crisp cool air, low angles of sunlight and the smell of leaves … it’s a wonderful intoxicant! Every part of the country has a slightly different window, often changing slightly from year to year, of opportunity to best capture fall colors. Baker River via Andy Porter Images Cutthroat Pass Fall Sunset via Andy Porter Images And each region features its own unique autumn flora. Whether Aspen in the Rockies, Mountain Maple in Pennsylvania, Cottonwood in Utah or Larch in Washington, the fall riot of colors is exhilarating and special. For me the two most important tools for capturing stunning fall colors are a polarizing filter and a wide angle lens. The polarizer adds vibrancy and richness to greens, blues and reds. Clouds and blue skies are accentuated wonderfully with the polarized filter, and any pool of water, no matter how small, is turned into a perfect reflective mirror. Fall colors Pasayten Wilderness via Andy Porter Images Fall on the Sahale Arm Trail, North Cascades National Park 3 via Andy Porter Images I find that a wide angle lens allows me to get close to my subject and capture a very wide depth of field with great clarity. Arranging the image so that you capture layers of near and far helps the viewer feel that they are there, in your picture. Angle of light plays a big role in fall colors, altering your angle to the subject and light source can totally change the glow of colors. Backlighting can create wonderfully unusual colors, and a 90 degree angle makes for a deep rough texture. Hiking along Baker River, Mt Baker-Snoqualmie Nat Forest via Andy Porter Images Pasayten Cathedral Peak Fall via Andy Porter Images Planning a bit gives you the chance to be there for sunrise or sunset. The autumn sun gives such a warm, full glow to leaves. It’s like someone flipped the light switch on! It’s a really good idea to spend time searching out locations before the colors come. Spend a bit of time reconnoitering prime spots, noting whether they are morning or evening places. Look for any cool elements you can add to the fall foliage, such as lakes, barns, fields, tractors, pumpkins, etc. Perfection Lake March 2015 via Andy Porter Images Sahale Peak and Doubtful Lake via Andy Porter Images Remember that great landscapes encompass elements of near and far. Layering your image with interesting elements at varying distance will pull the viewer right in. And lastly keep your eye open for any pool of water, no matter how small, for a reflection. Make sure to circumnavigate your location on the lookout for any sort of leading line that you can incorporate in the image. Fall on the Sahale Arm Trail via Andy Porter Images Thanks, Andy! Check out more of his amazing photography here.