Do You Want to Create Vibrant Fall Photos that Pop? (Part 2 for Beginners)

October 28, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Do You Want to Create Vibrant Fall Photos that Pop?  I am sure you do and I am glad you are here for part 2.  Did you get out to try some of the settings I suggested in part 1?  I hope you did.  In this part two, I cover some things to do that may be a bit more advanced, but not something you shouldn't try if you are new.  If you missed part one, you can find it here. The part one video can be found here.

When I was creating the YouTube video of this blog I did not have my notes nor did I try to intentionally follow my tip card.  I did not realize that until I was driving home.  However, the video validates my practice because I did cover most of the items below.  So be sure to check out the video for this blog as well.  You can find that video here.

For this blog I am using the bottom half of the Tip Card and will expand on each bullet.

Make it better

  •  What is the subject in the photo
    • Even landscapes can have subjects.  Not only is it possible, but you should try to have a subject.  Some examples of subjects in landscapes can be very obvious such as a barn or old farmhouse.  It could be a specific tree that stands out from the rest in some respect.  How about a wild animal that is crossing through or grazing in the scene. It can be a piece of land that is framed or in one of the thirds that make it stand out.   But you can also try to tell a story with a subject in the photo to express the size.  This is common in vast landscapes where you may place a person in the scene to get the scale of the landscaped.

Foggy SunsetFoggy SunsetFoggy Sunset

Foggy Sunrise with Road Leading to Nowhere


  • Shoot from many angles
    • This is one of the suggestions that I did not follow.   While I did take multiple shots from different positions, three photos hardly satisfy this idea.  Instead, try to get at least 10 different angles.  You may only come out with two or three keepers, but those keepers will be awesome.  I have an exercise I do from time to time to take 50 unique photos of the same subject.  It is very challenging but really gets the creative juices flowing.  Give it a try.
  • Use a tripod
    • You may not think you need a tripod, but if you want to get colors in a sunset or sunrise you may have to get to a fairly slow shutter speed to get the look that you want.  There are other reasons as well which I will elaborate on below.
  • Shoot at sunrise
    • At sunrise and sunset, the angle of light creates very cool shadows.  The light is also colorful and diffused making landscape colors pop.
  • Shoot at sunset
    • ​​​​​​​Same as the comment at sunrise.  But sunset can be easier to get to if you are not a morning person.
  • Shoot on a cloudy day
    • ​​​​​​​It wasn't cloudy but the fog was thick in my shoot, so I got the same effect.  A cloudy day, if you are not shooting at sunset or sunrise, gives you a giant softbox for your photo to help enhance your photo.

Advanced tips

  • Bracket for larger apertures to use focus stacking
    • ​​​​​​​All three photos in this photoshoot are photo-stacked.  To do this you need two or more photos to stack.  In this instance, I only needed two.  If I am focus-stacking I usually have three or more to get better focus from front to back.  In this shoot, I had a high aperture and the purpose of stacking was to get both the ground and the sky in the right exposure.  So one photo has the foreground properly exposed with a fairly slow shutter speed because it was dark.  So a tripod was a must to get the foreground in focus.  The second photo was of the sky and a much faster shutter speed to get the colors to be visible.
    • From there I took the two photos into photoshop to stack and mask the photos to give me this photo.

Foggy LandscapeFoggy LandscapeFoggy Landscape

Foggy Sunrise on a Lake

  • Shoot in RAW for more edit options in post
    • ​​​​​​​It took me a while to shoot in RAW and now I only shoot in RAW because I do a lot more with post-editing to recover over or under-exposed areas of the photo.  Realize that the RAW photo will take more space and you will need to export them to JPG or another format to share with others.  I may take several hundred photos on a photoshoot, but only export a few to share.
  • Use a polarizer filter
    • ​​​​​​​Definitely use a polarizer if your scene is wet, but take photos with and without the polarizer.  A circular polarizer is best because you can dial in the amount that the polarizer impacts the photo.  The purpose of the polarizer is to take away the glare from foilage and possibly water on the ground.  This helps bring out more color making for a vibrant photo.

Here is my final photo which is also photo stacked

Foggy Sunrise LandscapeFoggy Sunrise LandscapeFoggy Sunrise Landscape ​​​​​​​



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I am glad you found my blog.  I am a photographer with a passion for awesome shots.  I go to great lengths to capture many of my photos.  I will re-visit a location over and over knowing there is a spectacular photo just waiting to be had if I am there at the right time.   I also enjoy finding how to do some abstract projects (check out my time-lapse post) and will be writing about them.

Send me a note via my contact page for some projects you would like to see me try and write about.  I am not afraid to try almost any project.  Doing the obscure forces me to do things that I don't do with the typical photo shoot and helps me learn even more.