Fall Foliage Tips

fall foliage close-up
©Hudson Henry Photography

Autumn—one of my favorite times of year—is coming on quickly here in eastern Oregon: The nights are cooler, and each morning, the air has a hint of crispness in it. As a photographer, this change in the weather brings with it the anticipation of fall foliage, and I find myself itching to head out to shoot. I have been scoping out locations, planning my time, looking for the peak windows, and getting my gear ready. I have also been chatting with Ben Long and Hudson Henry about the best approaches for capturing fall color. Among us, we have a few tips for getting the most out of your fall-foliage shots.

Hudson: Let light dictate your scene

Hudson has found himself in some amazing places during autumn, but he also finds inspiration in his home area of Portland, Oregon. Here are a few of his tips for getting the most out of fall color:

  • When I photograph fall colors, I let the light dictate my subject choice and composition. Overcast days are wonderful to work with fall color. Under clouds or fog I can shoot in deep colorful woods without the pesky highlights and shadows that get in the way on blue sky days. Just be sure to keep that dull grey sky out of the frame.
  • Puffy white clouds with blue between soften the highlights each time the sun passes behind a cloud, while allowing me to include the blue and white of the sky to offset the other fall colors I am photographing. On bright sunny days, I use a long lens to look for small details in shadows and reflections while avoiding any direct sunlight or sky in the frame.
  • I rarely leave my polarizer behind, but I always want it for fall colors. Polarizers don’t just add contrast to the sky and help control reflections, they also make fall colors more intense. This is especially true in a misty, wet forest of color. The polarizer cuts through the wet shine on the leaves allowing me to capture more saturation.
  • Finally, I’m not at all above carrying a particularly lovely leaf specimen to place in just the right spot in the frame. Props have been a part of photography since the dawn of the art, and if it helps me capture the image I’ve envisioned, then I’m all for it.

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Hudson’s Advanced Panoramas course

Mount Adams, from Trout Lake, Washington.
Mount Adams, Trout Lake, Washington. ©Hudson Henry Photography

Last fall, when we released Hudson Henry’s Panoramas Made Simple, it was our intent to offer a companion volume, Advanced Panoramas, designed for photographers who wanted to go beyond the basics and create complex panoramas. In the end, Hudson and I decided that the advanced course made more sense as a video series than an ebook. (There will be extensive written cheatsheets to go along with the videos, however.).

Hudson is working on that course now, and he anticipates that it will be available in the fall of 2018. Here’s what he says about the new course:

The advanced course is for the photographer who wants to create complex, multiple-row and other specialty panoramas; ones that require extreme precision during the capture process. It will cover the equipment necessary for building these advanced panoramic images and how to calibrate your camera and lenses. It will also offer more advanced editing techniques utilizing Photoshop and other powerful software. 

If you purchased Panoramas Made Simple, we’ll let you know when Hudson’s course is ready. If you didn’t purchase the book, and have been waiting for the advanced course, the best thing to do is register over on Hudson’s website; he’ll keep you up to date on that course, as well as any other cool things he’s doing.

[If parts of this post look familiar, I apologize. I posted a small bit about this at the end of the item about the upcoming 9th edition of Complete Digital Photography, but it appeared to have gotten lost in the shuffle, hence the repost.]

 

Portland photo workshop with Hudson Henry

Our good friend Hudson Henry has just announced a three-day photo workshop in Portland, Oregon from September 21 to 23, with an optional fourth day in the field for interested participants:

Join me for this hometown workshop to explore Portland, Mount Hood, the Columbia River Gorge and (optionally) Silver Falls State Park. It’s easy to forget how amazing your own backyard is, but with each Northwest workshop I run, the participants say they wish they had more time close to Portland….This workshop is all about sharing the special place I live with you. And, as a bonus, I’ve timed it for a full moonrise at sunset for us to photograph, and I have a fun location picked out for it. You’ll want to bring a long lens for that.

The first three days will include shoots in Portland and out in the Gorge/Mt. Hood area, and is priced at $845. If you’re looking to spend a little more time in the area, Hudson will be heading out to Silver Falls State park in the Willamette Valley on the fourth day; the cost of the four-day workshop is $1,175.

Hudson’s workshops are small, intimate affairs with lots of hands-on classroom and shooting time. Given Hudson’s love for the Portland area, this one should be a special treat.

Upcoming workshops with Hudson Henry

Our friend Hudson Henry is hosting two upcoming workshops, one a five-day excursion in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina, the other a three-day workshop out on the Oregon Coast. If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to study with Hudson, these are perfect opportunities to deepen your photo skills with an expressive and eloquent teacher, one with a fine eye, a keen understanding of photographic history, and an easygoing manner. Hudson’s workshops are extensively researched and planned to help you get great shots, and the small size of his workshops guarantees plenty of one-on-one time in the field and in the classroom.

Charleston (April)

The Charleston workshop runs for five days, from April 13-17, and includes class time and excursions throughout the historic city center and many of the natural wonders around the area:

There’s good reason for Charleston, South Carolina’s rapid rise as one of the United States’ premier tourism destinations. Food, history, architecture, and beautiful wetlands full of birds and wildlife—this amazing city has something for every photographic style and taste. In this small workshop we’ll split time between exploring this epic location and honing your photographic skills and creative vision through classroom training, shooting, editing and critiques.

We’ll be basing our workshop in the heart of historic Charleston, within easy reach of its culinary and historic treasures. We will also take excursions outside the city, to such locations as Bull Island, the Magnolia Plantation, and Audubon’s Francis Beidler Forest.

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Panoramas Made Simple—now available

Panorama ebook: Patagonia pano

We are excited to announce the release of our latest ebook, Hudson Henry’s Panoramas Made Simple. Hudson has a deep passion for panoramic photography, a legacy that goes back to the days of film, when he worked to translate his vision of the landscape in front of him into large digital print. Since then, Hudson has become a master of the panorama, and in this book, he shows you how easy it is to ditch your camera’s ‘auto’ mode and create stunningly beautiful panoramas that capture the grandeur of our world—and without needing to buy special pano gear:

The first panoramic photograph I remember seeing was a series of overlapping Kodak prints that my cousin laid out on his kitchen table to show the incredible view from atop a peak in the Pacific Northwest. I was amazed at the scale of the combined scene: it was big, with an ultra-wide angle, and highly detailed. Today, with the advent of digital cameras and sophisticated editing software, we can leave the kitchen table behind and easily merge individual digital photographs into high-quality, seamless panoramic mergers.

You don’t have to invest a lot of money in gear to create panoramas. You can begin using the simple panoramic techniques I cover in this book without purchasing any specialty camera gear whatsoever. If you have a decent tripod, that will help, but you can also create shockingly good panoramas without one. With some care, you can even capture surprisingly good panoramas with nothing but a smartphone.

Panorama ebook: Golden Gate bridge

Panoramas Made Simple is richly illustrated with gorgeous examples of Hudson’s panoramas, and includes helpful tips on shooting in the field, as well as the best ways to assemble your panoramas on your computer (with Adobe Lightroom Classic, Photoshop or ON1 Photo RAW).

The book is available now at the CDP bookstore for $9.99, with a free 30-day money back guarantee.

Click the gallery below to see the introductory chapter, or you can download a sample PDF of the introduction and the first chapter free via this link.

Moab/Arches photo workshop Nov. 3-7

©Hudson Henry Photography

Our good friend Hudson Henry is hosting a five-day photo workshop in Moab this November, and there are a couple of spots left:

There’s no place like Moab, Utah. This location has something for every photographic style and taste. In this small (10 person) workshop we’ll split time between exploring this epic location and honing your photographic skills and creative vision through classroom training, shooting, editing and critiques.

Moab has it all. Epic desert vistas with deep canyons and otherworldly rock formations, incredible trails for hiking and mountain-biking, bright starry nights with low light pollution, and it’s all within easy striking distance of this great little town with good food and friendly locals.

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