Seeing all the great fall images around the web lately, I’m reaffirmed at how much we photographers love fall.
The color of the world changes so dramatically over the course of a few beautiful weeks when leaves slowly turn from summer green to their bright hues of yellow, red and orange. This wonderful change has us scrambling for our tripods and extra memory cards as we head out the door in droves with our cameras to make autumn landscape and nature images.
Leaves aren’t the only thing to change color. Grass also takes on it’s golden hue which leaves us with entire fields of yellow and bronze. Berries take on their full saturated brilliance as their sugar content rises to maximum levels, which has the birds and bears scrambling to gobble up as many as they can before that first big frost withers them.
Moose, deer, elk and caribou lose the soft brown velvet on their antlers as they get ready to battle one another for mating dominance. For a few short weeks, these animals come together in impressive groups that draw photographers like magnets to the places where they congregate.
The light of autumn changes too. Every day the sun crosses the sky in a slightly lower arc and magic hour comes earlier with each passing week. In the fall, you can be done shooting golden light photos and still make it home in time for dinner, instead of for bedtime as is the case in summertime.
And there is nothing so brilliant like end of the day sun that shines on a patch of bright yellow aspen or sugar maple leaves and nothing so striking as the way it filters through forests and splashes on thin rows of white aspen and birch trunks.
Photographers are never so active and excited as they are in the fall. We scramble around ourselves like kids in the candy store looking and trying to capture as many colorful scenes as we can before all the leaves have finally fallen from the trees. And even when they have left the trees, we point our lenses downward and shoot photos of them as they lie in ponds, on pavement, in our yards and on the forest floor.
We can’t get enough of fall. For some of us it comes early, for some, much later. Here in Alaska, peak color is just now passing, whereas in the Southeastern corner of the US, it will linger on for another few weeks, still brilliant as if offers colorful subject matter to energetic image makers.
Fall looks different everywhere. In Colorado and the American West where endless groves of aspen trees fill mountainsides, fall is yellow and white. In the Northeast, it’s spotted with the red and orange foliage of maples and oaks, and in the far north, where there are no deciduous trees, fall is a colorful carpet of berries and tiny leaves on the tundra, so close to the ground.
Fall excites us. Fall ignites us. Fall sparks our photographic creativity like no other season. We just can’t get enough of fall.
Fall is now, so go out and be a photographer in the fall while it lasts, for it will soon be over.
Dan Bailey is a professional adventure, outdoor and travel photographer based in Anchorage, Alaska. Follow his own blog at danbaileyphoto.com/blog and see his daily updates at facebook.com/danbaileyphoto.