Nature’s glorious spectrum of autumn color captured through a camera lens has photographers joining droves of autumn leaf peepers. Get away from the crowds by traveling to less visited, large expanses of national forest lands.
Use the USDA Forest Service revamped Fall Colors 2011
The USDA Forest Service’s revamped Fall Colors 2011 website offers assistance in finding hotspots of autumn color. On its website, it includes a telephone hotline number1-800-354-4595 with regional extensions listed as well as a clickable map in its Find a National Forest section.
Below the Find a National Forest map, the Fall Colors 2011 website provides a state-by-state and forest-by-forest fall color information links to specific, national forest information sites.
Tom Tidwell, Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, indicates, “Fall is a special time when nature’s work transforms our landscapes into a natural patchwork of vibrant hues. Because the Forest Service is the national source for tree expertise, we are ready to help Americans plan their trips and appreciate the incredible show.”
Free trees and shrubs identification guide
Correct identification of a photograph’s trees and shrubs adds value to an image. On the USDA Forest Service’s Fall Colors 2011 site, there’s a handy, free, digital field guide of tree identification on hand. Adding assurance to its accuracy, the USDA National Resources Conservation Service developed the Conservations Trees and Shrubs ID Guide with the assistance of National Resources Conservation Service foresters and plant specialists. It’s presented in handy, divided formats as well as in its full, digital format. Therefore, it’s possible to download just the introduction, just the tree ID section, or just the shrub identification section, or the entire guide.
Three, autumn photography tips
- All photographers know the importance of light. Autumn leaves have both delicacy and color. Use backlight streaming through colorful leaves to add radiance.
- Use a polarizing filter, especially on a brightly sunlit day. It will remove glare and deepen the color of sky and enrich the fiery hues of autumn foliage.
- Get out in the early morning. That lets you take advantage of the lower angle of early morning light for landscape work as well as its soft, luminescent light on close up photography of autumn leaves, moist with dew. If there’s a morning haze or mist, include its fog-like mystery in your landscape photograph.
Inspirational Gallery and Webcam
For inspiration to leaf peepers and photographers, the USDA Forest Service provides a gallery slideshow of autumn images entitled Fall Color.
Also, you can get immediate feedback on several locations through the USDA Fall Colors webcams. When you click into a location, some offer up-to-date information on temperature and wind speed, so you can anticipate whether wind could be a factor that might affect a photography shoot.
Webcams offer views of locations including:
a. New Hampshire’s Mount Washington
b. North Carolina’s Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness area
c. Montana’s Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area from the Stevensville, Mont., Ranger Station
d. Arkansas’ Upper Buffalo Wilderness area in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests
Fall colors are national attractions
From coast to coast, state and local economies are boosted because of the fall season. For example, the New England area receives an estimated $8 billion annually to local revenues. Throughout the Midwest, millions of visitors hit the road to enjoy the sights. In the West, the mountains provide destinations filled with tourists seeking a glimpse of shimmering gold aspens.
The USDA Forest Service uses its website to provide information and inspiration to support active involvement. If you’d like to donate a fall color photograph to that effort, it would be placed into the USDA Forest Service’s “Find-a-Photo” gallery that is part of the NatureWatch, Wildlife, Fish, and Threatened and Endangered Species Program’s Photograph Library. If you are interested in donating your own copyright free Wildlife, Fish, or Plant photos to the library, contact Don Virgovic, National NatureWatch Program Leader at [email protected]
Reflect autumn’s scenic grandeur
Poet William Cullen Bryant celebrated America’s landscapes in his work. With apt reverence, he wrote in “A Forest Hymn” that “The groves were God’s first temples.” Photographers search for the beautiful, reverent places that lift the human spirit, and the autumn season is perfect for that journey.
As the brilliant colors of autumn, its cool winds, and its shimmering lights fill the nation’s forest temples, photographers in love with nature have the chance to preserve a joyous moment of that glory and beauty in autumn images.
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