Join Justin Reznick for an in-depth discussion in this video Knowing the right time of year to photograph fall color, part of Landscape Photography: Autumn.
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- A big question with Fall photography is, when do I go? When is peak color happening? And I wanna talk about some tool sets that I use that enable me to maximize shooting time by traveling to the locations when the peak color is really going off. Now, the first thing I do, is I study images from that region. And there are multiple websites that I do this on. Places like Flickr, 500px.com, basically any site that gathers different images from that location.
Now you just simply go in and do a search, and you pull up these images. As you look at the metadata, often times the data's included. And if you study enough images, you'll see very consistent times and dates, and that starts to give you the range of what you're looking at. So just simply by researching images, finding out when they're taken, you've created a window. Now, another advantage you can do through this research is in real time. What I love is to follow photographers that live in that region.
So for example, if I wanna go to Vermont, I'm gonna find some Vermont photographers who love to shoot color. And you can see, based on their portfolio, that they're prolific. And then I check their social media feeds, Facebook, you know, Instagram, whatever they're using, and often times, they'll say something like, hey, I'm at this location and the colors look great. So by following the photographers that are in that region, live in that region, and work in that region, I'm on top of it even in real time looking for that color.
So again, studying images in order to find a window, and then in real time, really studying social media feeds of photographers that you're able to locate. Another great resource, many regions are starting to come up with, that I call, kind of a heat map. And what they do, is they take a region, and a very common one is New England. And they separate it based on counties, and each county is color coded, anywhere from green, yellow, orange and red. As we move to red, we're moving to peak color. And they rely on users to submit pictures and information, and so you can study an entire map of the region, and based on color, see what's turning.
You know, maybe you want to go to Acadia in Maine, but boy, it's just not there yet. So, I'm able to use those kind of, online resource maps to further my real time commitment to hitting that peak color. So those are some of the tools I like to use. And I encourage you to go that same route. One other thing I want to mention, Fall color doesn't have to be at peak. There are interesting things that happen, especially on the tail-end of color. If you arrive a little bit late, no reason to get down.
There's some interesting things you can do. A lot of the foliage falls to the floor, sometimes just one leaf on a tree, and then everything else has fallen. So, even though we're trying to hit peak, always be encouraged to shoot around it as well. So those are some of the tools I use. I hope those are very helpful.