Fall colors along Montreal’s Back River
Summer came and Summer’s Gone! It went by so quickly that all I can seem to think about are the missed opportunities. What did I forget to photograph before the end of Summer? I can’t lament and think about it for too long! Fall may be around for quite a while but in the North East and Southern / Eastern Canada the beauty of fall can be here one week end and gone the next. The foliage is changing and it’s changing at an astonishingly rapid pace. In Montreal everyone heads North, like St-Donat, an hours drive, for some of the most beautiful colors. Don’t wait for the City colors to kick in because it will be too late to head out North. Fall Colors can be up to three weeks early just a stone drop north of Montreal. For those sleepy heads there’s always the Eastern Townships that offer a late glimpse at this colorful change of season.
Bad weather can have devastating effects and drastically impact your fall shooting schedule. Foliage weakens as it changes color. Winds and rain, common this time of year, can cause havoc on the beautiful scenery, leaving only bare branches for the sunny days ahead. This was the case two years ago in Southern Quebec. It left us photographers with very little fall subjects to photograph.
Yes many wooded forest landscapes, especially those populated with Maple trees will give you a photographic explosion of colors. There’s also many more opportunities we often miss. Many of our favorite Spring and Summer Landscapes can now be enhanced with subjective tones of color. This adds new dimensions and textures we often miss in our quest for the perfect Autumn picture.
Having fall colors complement your main subject can often bring out an unprecedented energy in your pictures. Colorful tones in the background or in the foliage to the side can bring out the attraction factor in a photograph without compromising the subject. Even early signs of fall add a totally new and dynamic look to your landscapes photography.
Taking advantage of the light at sunset can also enhance and add a warm note to your colors. The reduced luminosity also make it easier to reduce speed on fast moving water. In addition reflections from the sky can enhance the texture and color of your running water while complementing your fall colors.
Don’t limit your fall shooting to full-on wooded landscapes blaring with color. Take advantage of every degree of change and use it to enhance your already beautiful landscapes. Experiment in different weather conditions. From misty foggy days to warm sunset light, fall colors can add a positive essence to many different types of landscapes not usually associated with fall colors.
Some of the tools that can help with contrast, tones and slowing down water:
1. Polarized Filter: Invest in a good filter. They are handy in enhancing color contrasts and can reduce your light up to one stop acting like a light ND filter.
2. Neutral Density Filters: A must if you’re going to reduce your exposure speed, especially on bright days. They are available in specific strength and variable densities.
3. A good Tripod: I recommend the Manfrotto the 055XPROB in aluminum or the Carbon Fiber variances if your budget permits it.