Skip to Primary Navigation Skip to Primary Content Skip to Footer Navigation

Fall Photo Finish with Photographer Brent Haddock

Posted On
Sep 16, 2016
Things to Do
Expert Advice

As the leaves begin to change and fall gives way to winter its time for a "Fall Photo Finish." This weeks blog comes from guest blogger Brent Haddock. Brent has spent many years taking great photos of the Heber Valley and has compiled a list of tips to help anyone take beautiful fall photos. Check out his work on his website, then get out to go get some great shots. 


Ten Quick Tips for Capturing Great Photographs of Fall Colors by Brent Haddock Photography

It’s officially Fall and that means gorgeous colors are all over the Heber Valley! Here are some quick photography tips so that you can treat yourself to some spectacular displays of fall colors while capturing great photographs of Autumn leaves.

  1. Location. Location. Location. With so many accessible places in the Heber Valley, here is a list of my favorite spots to photograph fall colors with super results. Red Aspens! Every year I make a trek up the road from Currant Creek (via Lake Creek) to Strawberry Reservoir where there are a couple of patches of rare maverick red aspens. These vibrant red and orange aspens are right on the side of the road and are best photographed in the morning light. Above Cascade Springs (including Deer Creek Overlook) and then take in the Alpine Loop Scenic BywayGuardsman Pass, Snake Creek Canyon and of course take in Wasatch Mountain State Park on your way. Mirror Lake Highway above Kamas and Oakley.
  2. Time: Colors are changing earlier this year so you need to get out there now. Usually by the second week in October they are past peak.
  3. Light: Use the light to your advantage. When possible avoid the harsh contrast light of midday light that strips the leaves of their color. Try to capture your images during the golden hours, right after sunrise and before sunset when soft warm magical images can happen.
  4. Back lighting: On a clear day, you can take advantage of the light by positioning yourself to shoot into the sun. This way you can continue to shoot beyond the golden hours. Back lit leaves will become translucent, revealing their most vivid colors.
  5. Polarizer: Shoot with a polarizer filter to maximize the colors and eliminate reflections. Polarizer filters work best when at a 90 degree angle to the sun. Keep the sun behind you for best polarization.
  6. Rain: Shoot fall colors after a rain storm. The rain adds a vivid new dimension to the leaves.
  7. Close-ups: Shoot fall colors super duper close up using a macro lens if you have one. Fill the viewfinder.
  8. Reflections: Look for opportunities to use reflections of fall leaves in ponds, rivers and lakes
  9. Exposure: Use the lowest ISO setting your camera will allow (to avoid grainy images) and underexpose slightly for rich color. If its windy, the leaves will look out of focus so use your camera’s auto ISO feature and set your shutter speed to a range between 1/50 and 1/100 to stop the windy action. It works like a charm.
  10. Be creative: Try creating a kaleidoscope eddy by floating a few colorful leaves on water. Set your camera on a tripod and use a long exposure (several seconds) stir the leaves in a circular pattern with a stick and activate the trigger. Fun!

Have fun capturing some great photographs of Fall Leaves in the Heber Valley. More of Brent Haddock’s photography can be viewed at:


Fall, Photography, Outdoors