Take Notice of the Colors
Reds, oranges, browns, yellows: these are the colors that traditionally dominate the fall. If you can, use this tip cumulatively and combine this with the unique shape idea. For example, one tree may be many different colors. In New York City, there are usually oaks and elms with yellow, red and brown leaves often on the same branch. When the leaves fall, someone usually comes around and rakes them up. These piles contain a wealth of colors stacked up next to one another.
Besides the leaves though, fall is characterized by a plethora of colors elsewhere. Farmers markets may have decorations as fall is traditionally the season to celebrate the harvest. Restaurants, cafes and stores also tend to dress themselves appropriately for the season and put lots of thought into their decorations.
To take full advantage of these colors, you'll perhaps want to carry around a DSLR rather than a point-and-shoot. The exception to this rule is something with a larger sensor like the Sigma DP2s that delivers extremely rich colors. So why choose a DSLR over a point-and-shoot? It's a given that DSLRs usually have a much broader dynamic range of colors. Because fall has so many of them, you'll want to capture each one the best you possibly can.
Further, you may also want to set your camera's shooting mode to Vivid unless you've got special custom settings. My 7D and 5D MK II have the contrast boosted up a healthy amount and the sharpness increased a bit as well.
And as always, shoot in RAW and process in your editing software of choice. For fun, if your camera has art filters, take a look at what the results will be like with a cross process or dramatic tonal mode.
Don't Forget the Holidays
Halloween, Thanksgiving, and loads of different religious holidays all take place during fall. Typically, they all involve lots of unique and interesting defining characteristics. For example, Halloween will have lots of jack-o-lanterns and Thanksgiving will have various types of corn displayed around. These little items come to remind us of the fall holidays.
Documenting the holiday festivities can be done in many different ways. If you're a prime lens shooter, the standard 35mm, 50mm and 85mm lenses will be more than sufficient to cover the grounds. Similar zoom lenses will also suffice. In the case of documenting something like a Halloween parade, you may perhaps be better off shooting with a zoom lens.
These focal lengths can help the user to create tight and intimate photos or environmental portraits and landscapes. Faster apertures are also encouraged as many of these holidays do have festivities that traditionally take place during the nighttime. Additionally, a camera with great high ISO capabilities is also recommended. If you have an off-camera flash, bring that along with a diffuser and power the flash output down a bit. While shooting, try to go for a tiny bit of overexposure combined with the flash in order to allow more ambient light to balance the photo a bit better.
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