Observing the Quieter Side of Fall

Sep 07, 2021

I can't help but wonder if fall will come early to the Canadian Rockies this year. Our hot and dry summer has fatigued foliage, and I can already see signs of fall popping up! Unfortunately, fall is always short-lived here in Alberta and usually only lasts a couple of weeks. Storms tend to arrive a little too early, snowing down winter before we’re ready. So before winter arrives, I’m going throw on my favourite sweater, pack up my toque (that’s Canadian for hat), bundle up my down jacket, and toss my gear into my truck in search of the perfect fall landscape locations.

I think that we’ll all agree that location matters on any given day when it comes to creating a landscape image, but this is especially true during the fall season. Certain scenes revel in the display of fall, while others remain mostly untouched by the seasonal change. So the obvious choice for fall scenes are locations filled with deciduous trees, and here in the Canadian Rockies, the larch trees are always a popular draw. Fall is showy, and we landscape photographers want that show. 

However, fall doesn't always have to be loud to create an impact. Indeed the colourful scenes often steal the show, and I encourage you to run out and capture those scenes with your camera, but this fall, I want you to keep in mind that tiny details within a landscape image can also be powerful. 

ISO 31, 16mm, f22, 1/5sec

Small touches of the fall season can prolong the opportunity for the infusion of fall into landscape images and add significant visual interest to your fall photos. So don't be afraid to look for those tiny touches of fall. 

I encourage you this fall to train your eye to observe the quieter side of the season. A single coloured leaf in an otherwise static scene, a red berry bush, a sole yellow tree contrasting against a forest of green, a scene framed by colourful leaves, even a moody sky full of atmosphere and drama are just a few options you have when looking for fall scenes. By the way, training your eye to look for details within a landscape setting will make you a better landscape photographer.