This image is from a hike I took in September of last year along the Three Mile Creek in the Mount Evans Wilderness Area.
Aspen leaves caught in a pool at the edge of the Ten Mile Creek near Frisco, CO:
Now I’m going to have that song in my head all day.
A few more from Saturday’s aspenfest at Kenosha Pass:
What started out as a drizzly, gray, overcast day yesterday quickly developed into a stunningly clear, not-a-cloud-in-the-sky day – a PERFECT day for a color tour. The aspens at Kenosha Pass are at their peak and were absolutely AMAZING. When you come around the corner on the approach to the pass, there’s a big hill to the east that is solid aspen-gold and it’s take-your-breath-away gorgous. Photographs can’t possibly do it justice.
The stretch of the Colorado Trail on the east side of Kenosha Pass is one of my favorite hikes in any season (although I haven’t tried it in the winter yet. I’ll put that on my snowshoeing agenda for this coming winter). The occasional views out toward South Park are expansive and the old, old aspen forest is positively primeval.
P.S. If you live in Colorado and want to see the aspen colors, go NOW!
If you’re going to set out specifically to photograph fall foliage, it’s best to have an area in mind so you’re not wandering around aimlessly looking for nice colors. Here in Colorado, the main draw for fall photography is the aspen trees. Pay attention to what trees look nice in their fall colors in your area.
- Probably the optimal time to shoot fall colors is during the “golden hour” right before/after sunset. Some say that that the sunrise “golden hour” works too, but I’ve tried shooting at sunrise on more than one occasion and wasn’t all that pleased with the results. You can definitely get some good foliage shots at any time of the day, though.
If you’re out on an overcast day (like today), try to minimize the amount of sky you include in your photographs. Better yet, try to eliminate the bright white, washed out, featureless sky altogether by tightening your composition.
- On the other hand, a dramatic-clouds-interspersed-with-blue-sky type of sky can add a lot of interest to your fall foliage images, so do include that type of sky. Just don’t shoot into the sun.
- Using a polarizing filter can help to bring out the colors at any time of the day, but especially if you’re shooting outside of the “golden hours.”
- Be flexible and alert. Pay attention to details. Look. SEE. Don’t only go for vast hillsides covered in golden aspen trees or entire forests of brilliant red maple trees. Look up. Look down. Look for the “intimate landscapes” that I’ve mentioned here in a previous blog post. Look for a golden leaf trapped in an eddy at the side of a stream or even in a puddle in the street. Look for color contrasts.
- Try to include interesting elements in your composition other than just trees and leaves, such as an old barn, an interesting rain fence, a cool rock formation, a trail, a stream, etc.
- Look for other things that say “fall,” like dried grass, seed pods, pumpkins, piles of dried leaves with children sitting in the middle of them, etc.
- Of course I have to say “use a tripod” because you really should. But I still probably won’t so I can’t very well expect you to either. But you might just give it a try if you have one. I can’t actually say I won’t because I just might. I did use a tripod when I took my favorite fall image of all time, so there you have it.
- Try some “shoot from your boots” shots to mix things up.
Tune in tomorrow to see how fall is shaping up in the Colorado mountains.