Tips on Photographing Fall Colors

Photographer Dan Creviston of George Street Photo and Video shares expert advice on how to capture the beauty of fall on camera, the best venues to see its brilliant debut and simple tips to make your fall photos unforgettable.

Shooting Tips:

  • When to shoot: Fall foliage is at its best in the 2nd week of October, but this may be a little earlier or later based upon when cold weather arrives.
  • Best time: Photograph around sunrise and sunset for the best light and color.
  • Photograph outdoors: Start shooting when your shadow is longer than you are, usually in the late afternoon.
  • Don't discount overcast days: Colors are more saturated and shadows are softer.
  • Be spontaneous! Take a play break from raking leaves and capture it on camera.
  • Stuck in the city? Visit a farmer's market and snap the beautiful colors and shapes of fall fruits and veggies.
  • Get up close: A field of red leaves is rich, but a single red leaf against green grass also works.
Recommended Locations:
  • Morton Arboretum - You can embark on guided tours to learn about the trees and plants, or you can explore on your own. Website:
  • The Cook County Forest Preserve has a lot of great trees showing their fall colors. Head to a forest preserve nearest you, during designated hours. Website:
  • Apple Orchards - There orchards within driving distance from Chicago for picking your own apples in late summer and early fall. You will need to drive a little further, but there are several apple orchards in Kane, DeKalb, McHenry and Lake counties. See a complete list of Illinois apple orchards at
  • Pumpkin Patches – Catch brilliant shapes and colors at pumpkin patch or at your local farmer's market. Pick the closest pumpkin patch or farmer's market nearest to you.
  • Chicago Botanic Garden – See turning leaves and late-summer blooms while taking an afternoon stroll. Website:
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