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ruleNEW ENGLAND FALL FOLIAGE: HOW TO TAKE GREAT FALL PHOTOGRAPHErule

Green Line

While we show you how to preserve a leaf, there is no better way to reminisce about your New England fall foliage vacation than the great photographs you take. There's little more as photogenic as a beautiful fall scene, such as the one above whether you shoot in color or black and white. While photographs obviously can't tell the whole story, they can certainly help you to remember how you felt when you took pictures. And with today's digital cameras, it's pretty easy to take great New England fall foliage photographs.

We have found though that while digital cameras are easy to use, digital photographs, except those taken by something that has an SLR body, do come out dark. There are various ways to make them crisper and bring out the colors in Photoshop, but not everyone knows how to use Photoshop.

A SMALL SAMPLING OF SOME OF THE MANY PHOTOGRAPHS WE'VE TAKEN OVER THE YEARS
Some of these were featured on the Weather Section of CNN.Com.
New England Fall Foliage New England Fall Foliage New England Fall Foliage
New England Fall Foliage New England Fall Foliage New England Fall Foliage
New England Fall Foliage Fall Pumpkins & Flowers New England Fall Foliage Forest
Copyright © 2003-2014 Jim & Terry Hyde All Rights Reserved.

The good news is that a lot of the software that comes with digital cameras can help you brighten your photos and cover a multitude of sins, such as blurry shots or artifacts you don't want in the photo.

Many of the cameras work on automatic, which also takes a good deal of guesswork out of the picture. But that can be a problem if the lighting isn't quite right or you need a flash on a cloudy day and you're more than ten feet away from your subject. If you want to take a shot of someone in front of a mountain in glorious colors, but the day is cloudy, you want to be within ten feet of your subject and shooting at eye level.

The Shooting Menu provides a wide range of options, Image Mode being the most important. If you want large prints, say, eight-by-ten, you'll need to select the highest setting on the camera, which in our case is 4 Megapixels (2288). If you shoot at the highest setting, you'll be able to take fewer pictures (there's only so much space on the card, unless you have a camera with bubble memory--those are mostly of the video variety--but the camera shoots at 300 dots per inch (dpi) while some cameras will shot at 600 dpi. That means that if you want an 8-by-11 print, it will print perfectly. Lower settings are fine for the Web. They are shot 72 dpi, which makes for much smaller files size and decent smaller prints. If you put a 300 dpi photo on the Web, it will take a long time to download, so pay attention to settings and set them for where you expect it to end up--on paper or the Web.

Nonetheless, our Nikon Coolpix 4600 offers seven different types of settings, and each setting has a number of sub-settings that allow you to set up the perfect shot very easily. We've used the Panorama sub-setting, Panorama Assist, to take photos in a scanning fashion. We were able to get all of Mt. Mansfield and Spruce Mountain in Stowe, Vermont, in the same shot using this technique.

How to Take Great New England Fall Foliage Photographs

For fall photos, you can use the Landscape Mode. You can shoot straight landscape, Scenic View, Architecture, Group right (where a person may be to the right in front of a mountain) and Group Left.

If people, trees and leaves are moving around in a stiff breeze, you can use a Sports setting, and shoot in Spectator mode or Sport Composite. You can shoot at night with the Night Portrait, Portrait Left (when the subject is to the left, the camera balances the shot to compensate and prevent blurring). Portrait Right, Portrait Closeup, Portrait Couple, and Portrait Figure.

You can shoot video in Movie Mode or Auto-focus Mode. The auto-focus works very well, although I've shot videos that appear on NewEnglandTimes.Com with this camera without using Auto-Focus and they've come out well, if not a bit dark.

If your camera has a Continuous setting, you can shoot a single shot, continuous shots or 16 Multi-Shots. If you're in Single Shot mode, you have to wait for the camera between shots whereas if you're going to be taking shot after shot, you'll want to use Continuous. If you have a Best Shot Selector setting, I recommend you leave on. If the photo is blurred, the camera will tell you so and ask if you want to keep it.

It's also good to have a camera with color options, such as Standard Color, Vivid Color, Black-and-White, Sepia and Cyanotype. For fall shots, we always use vivid color, unless we're near a grouping of birch trees, where we'll shoot in black-and-white. Ansel Adams made that idea very appealing and I have a poster of the group of birches he shot--hey, everybody can dream, right? The Scene Setting offers the most options, Party/Indoor, Beach/Snow, Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Night Landscape, Close up (which usually looks like a flower), Museum, Fireworks, Copy, Back Light, Panorama Assist, which is what we used to shoot Mt. Mansfield, Underwater (but not without the necessary casing), and 4M Image Mode.

Regardless of what kind of digital camera you have, it's a good idea to buy extra memory cards. If you have just one and fill it quickly, that'll be the end of photographing the rest of the trip. Depending on the length of that trip,We recommend having at least three of the largest cards your camera can accommodate. Better to have too much memory than not enough. Your camera's instructions will tell you how many photos (or how much video space you have). Use that information to buy the extra memory cards.

Once you get home and print out your New England fall foliage photographs, you'll be able to relive the trip time and time again.


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