People frequently ask me “how” do I get “those shots.” Some inside scoop, specifically for leaf peeping, follows.
Basically, to get good fall color, you first gotta get there “at the right time.” Unfortunately, in the Rockies, it’s almost impossible to predict when the fall color will explode. You’re typically looking for that crazy 7-day period when the lights go “on.”
Unfortunately, the variability of summer rain, fall temps, and big wind storms (that can strip the trees bare) all make predicting pretty much impossible. Meaning I plan very last minute and start driving in when it’s “just right”.
So getting there is half the battle. The other half is catching great light and even better, an overnight snowstorm before the leaves disappear. You want just the right amount of clouds to catch the early morning rays or sunset. Clear blue skies suck!
Every once in a while, I get lucky. Got up early to catch this shot after it snowed all nite. Was this view visible from the road? Nope. That’s where the drone comes in.
Drones have become a leading edge tool to grab unique shots from vantage points previously requiring a helicopter. Kind of the new frontier for adventure photography.
Some other shots taken in flight. BTW, I use a DJI Mavic 3 Cine as my UFO.
That’s not to say, I’m not willing to go low. This photo was taken about 2 inches off the ground. For our photobugs out there, it’s actually two images blending together. One focused in on the nearby leaves, the other focused on the further away trees. I used a small aperture (F22) to create the Sunstar.
I used the same technique below (focus stacking) to get the nearby leaves in sharp focus (shot 1) and then focus out long for the mountain (shot 2).
Ok, now for getting rainbows. When I see it raining, but there’s a clear sun sky behind me, I start looking around!
What makes a great woodland shot? Occasionally, you chance upon some very white, large-diameter Aspens with the foreground covered in ferns. Yellow fever!
Let’s not forget the wildlife!
No, not the moose, the Holstein(or whatever). I was standing about 8 ft from that girl. Actually taken with my iPhone. BTW, I was not close to the moose. Don’t have a death wish. Taken with a big telephone lens.
Finally, it doesn’t hurt to be tenacious. I’ve been trying to get a great shot of Mount Crumpet (Rabbit Ears) for years. Some Steamboat buddies, helped me find the right vantage point (thanks to the Clarks!). Finally got all the elements together. Great sky, changing trees & hint of sunlight on the mountain.
Oh, yes…how to get a good photo of a lake? Two things really help. Go when it’s dead still, so the lake becomes a mirror. II: Have a great sky. The sky becomes the main event!
Check out the link below to see the full gallery. https://www.snitzerphotos.com/Other/Galleries/Fall-in-the-west-2022/n-rrc2QX/