Nikon Americas USA

121ArticlesRemaining

4.5 Rating
Photography Lighting Tutorial Part 1 - Control of Color

Go on location with Joe McNally for a video tutorial on lighting…

Advanced

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.4 Rating
Photography Lighting Tutorial Part 2 - Control of Color

Go on location with Joe McNally for a video tutorial on lighting…

Advanced

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.3 Rating
One Shot: After Image

Jack Dyking on seeing in color and thinking in B&W

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.1 Rating
Picture Controls Step-by-Step

Utilize Picture Controls in-camera or during post-processing to change the look of your…

NEW
Read
Viewing
3.6 Rating
Halloween & Autumn Harvest Photography

Take better photos during the colorful fall season

Beginner

NEW
Read
Viewing
AF Area Modes
3.3 Rating
AF Area Modes

Nikon’s three AF area modes—single point AF, dynamic area AF and auto area AF—are designed to handle any…

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.4 Rating
Taking Great Portraits with COOLPIX Cameras

See how COOLPIX technologies let you take great portraits

Beginner

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.2 Rating
Photograph the Classic Holiday Light Bokeh Effect

Tips for shooting lights as soft globes of color

Beginner

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.3 Rating
Basic Underwater Photography Tips

5 tips to taking better photos under the sea

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.3 Rating
Marketplace: One and Only

Nikon 1 AW1 waterproof, shockproof interchangeable lens camera

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.4 Rating
How To Grow Your Garden Photography Skills

Taking great photographs of your own garden is easy with a few simple tips

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.4 Rating
Extra-low Dispersion Glass

ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass is the result of an alternative glass manufacturing technology…

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.7 Rating
COOLPIX Cameras and Cool Lighting with Speedlights

Lucas Gilman shows you how to use Speedlights with COOLPIX cameras

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.5 Rating
Take Better Portraits

Tips for taking a good portrait photo

Beginner

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.4 Rating
Hands On: Range Rover

Lindsay Silverman on the many moods of HDR

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.5 Rating
Joe McNally: Shooting a Portrait with Speedlights

Joe McNally sets up a portrait on location using Speedlights

Advanced

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.3 Rating
The Stories that Can be Told Through Photography

Commercial photographer Arthur Meyerson likes his photos to say the most…

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.1 Rating
New Directions: The D750 Inspires Creating, and Sharing, New Images

Lindsay Silverman shoots with the D750 DSLR

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.5 Rating
A Photographic Expedition — Easter Island and Patagonia, Chile

Travel to Patagonia and Easter Island for a photographic…

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.2 Rating
Photographing Sports Indoors and Out

Capturing the action of a sporting event is easy when you follow a few simple…

Advanced

NEW
Read
Viewing
0.0 Rating

Be the first to rate

Mothers' Days: Good Timing and Great Locations Result in Memorable Maternity Photographs

Beth Wade discusses tips for…

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.3 Rating
Exposure Bracketing: The Creative Insurance Policy

Get creative with your photography by using this age-old technique.

Advanced

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.8 Rating
Create and Publish Your Own Photo Book

A photo book is a great way to share your images with the world.

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.7 Rating
One Shot: Are We There Yet?

Gary Crabbe shoots The Subway in Zion National Park

NEW
Read
Viewing

10 Tips for Shooting Autumn Foliage

A Checklist for Great Fall Color Photos

Location

"It's everything," says nature photographer Rod Planck, who ought to know: his fall color photo tours sell out faster than any other tour or workshop he offers, which is a testament to the image opportunities and overall inspiration of fall color. If you're thinking of focusing a photography vacation around the colors of autumn, or just want to spend a day or two in pursuit of the season's hues, Rod suggests three major regions to consider: the New England states; the Colorado Rockies; and the upper Midwest of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota (all the photos here were taken by Rod in his home state of Michigan). If you live elsewhere, your best bet is the website of your state's tourism board for timely, peak fall color information, perhaps even a fall color hotline. And yes, there are apps for fall color's best times and places; Google will reveal all.


Light

Not all things need be, or should be, photographed in bright sun. "People at the autumn tours will often tell me that the weather report calls for sun for the next seven days," Rod says, "but that's not good news." In autumn, sunlight is desirable only early and late, when it's essentially sidelighting. "An overcast day is best—first, because you can shoot all day long, and second because the light is soft and even." But doesn't overcast mean that the intensity of the color is decreased? Nope, not at all; in fact, just the opposite: autumn colors are saturated colors, and they contrast nicely with a gray day. While a bit of gray sky is okay in your photo, remember to avoid expanses of uninteresting white sky. What's often best is cloud cover illuminated by sunlight; the first photo here is a nice example of that.


Exposure

Rod uses Matrix metering for everything, regardless of sunshine or clouds, then checks the histogram to make sure no highlights are being clipped. "I'll check the LCD to see what I'm getting and dial in some exposure compensation if I need to increase or decrease saturation." Another exposure setting tip: "Cloud cover will give you less light, and because you're photographing landscapes, generally you won't want to sacrifice depth of field by opening up the aperture, so I suggest pushing the ISO to keep your depth of field at a good setting while maintaining a high shutter speed if you're hand-holding the camera."

Support

"But I use a tripod for everything, so shutter speed isn't usually an issue. If it's calm weather, I'll shoot at the lowest ISO setting and not really care how long the exposure is."


Elevation

One of the things that'll give you a sense of the expanse of an area and the color that fills it is height. "A lot of locations afford the opportunity to drive up and get above the color," Rod says, "and when you can do that it gives you a grander feel for how much color there is in the area." Search out what Rod  calls "the famous overlook" in any area of fall color. "There'll usually be one, and there'll be lots of people photographing there every morning." Rod often seeks elevations that give him a straight-on view of a fall color array, as in the second photo here, for which he was up high enough to look straight into central portions of the trees. "I take advantage of anything I can—a stump, rocks, hills. I've stood in the back of a pickup truck." And don't forget to look down, too. "Late in autumn, the forest floor is as colorful as the treetops were," Rod says, and offers the third Image as an example.


Water

Streams, creeks, ponds and rivers can become magical in the fall. Rod sets the scene: "There's a maple tree on one side of the stream, and you're on the other side in the shadow. The maple gets sunlight on it and it reflects yellow into the stream in front of you; everything else is reflecting blue from the sky." When the leaves are turning, the spot you'd just pass by at any other time of the year becomes a great photo location as water gives you reflections, contrast and, with long exposures, texture.


Lenses

Rod's an advocate of the "power of longer lenses." All the photos here were taken with 85mm, 70-200mm and 300mm NIKKOR glass.


Fog and Mist

They can soften and mute colors, but they add mood, atmosphere, even mystery. The fourth image is a rather straightforward capture of morning mist rising from a lake, while the fifth is a bit more complex: "The trees were just starting to get some sunlight, and I focused the camera on the foreground reflections, which are still in the shade, so the mist is a different color temperature, and the bottoms of the trees are still in shadow."

Subtleties

Consider some close-ups that are related to autumn but not to the season's bright colors, like the image of mushrooms growing on the side of a tree, or the photo of a milkweed seed pod with seeds being dispersed by the wind. "This is color that fall brings to particular plants," Rod says, "and the photos were taken during peak times of color in the area. Fall color is an excuse to go out in the woods; it doesn't mean that everything you photograph has to be defined by colorful leaves."

Explore

"Fall is a great time to drive around to look for spots where there's color," Rod says. "You'll find places to photograph right then, and you'll locate other spots to come back to later on, and in later years—your own private, favorite spots. You can spend the entire day out in the woods during those cool, clear, crisp days of color. Twilights are better, the sun's at a lower angle for a longer time, sunsets are intense. The autumn light will bring color and texture to a lot of things. Fall is an awesome time to be out all day long looking for beautiful photos."

Welcome to
Nikon Learn & Explore

We've made it easy to find all the videos, tutorials &
stories you care about, get tips and advice from pros,
learn new shooting techniques, discover classes and
workshops—in short, help you find new inspiration
every time you visit. (And we hope you visit often.)

Get the Learn & Explore iPhone App

Access all the photography techniques, advice and inspiration of Nikon's Learn & Explore anytime, anywhere with the free app for iPhone®, iPod touch® and iPad®.
photo of two iPhones with the Nikon L&E app on the screens

Take Today's Poll

Make your opinion count and check back often to participate in new polls.

Attend Nikon School

Take your photographic knowledge to the next level; get a working understanding of your camera's features; learn how to create DSLR videos; discover how to edit your images using Capture NX2 software and more.

Butterflies photo taken by Joel Sartore, Nikon Ambassador and Nikon School logo