DENVER (KDVR) — Fall is in the air, and so are the changing leaves. Taking a picture doesn’t necessarily last longer when the photos are worse than your memory. FOX31 spoke with a professional photographer and got a quick crash course on taking photos of the fall leaves.

Professional wildlife and landscape photographer John Williams talked about the basics you’ll need to know to take a fall foliage photo.


The top rule to follow when taking pictures of fall leaves is to go somewhere that has them. Fall leaves are in the midst of changing and not everywhere you go will have peak foliage just yet.

In late September, Williams recommends Lake Granby for its deep red colors. However, Lake Granby will only be in peak season until the end of September. After that, the Rockies will be the place to go, said Williams.

Williams also recommends Highway 34, the road from Lake Granby to Monarch Lake, Cottonwood Pass in Granby and Gore Pass toward Steamboat for some prime leaf-peeping places.

KDVR has a map to see a full fall foliage forecast.


While a high-quality camera will always take professional-looking photos, Williams says even your phone will do the job.

If you don’t want to use your phone, Williams recommends a couple hundred dollar point-and-shoot camera.

The main difference between a camera on an iPhone and a handheld camera with expensive lenses is that on a cell phone, you can’t blow an image up as much as you could with a camera.

Choosing the right camera is all about what you want to do with the photos.


Timing is everything. While the colorful leaves will look good in any daylight hours, the best time to snap a shot is in the early morning or late evening, according to Williams.

“Once the sun gets high in the sky, you still have the feel but you don’t have any shadowing of leaves and different colorations,” said Williams.

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When it comes to fall leaves, as long as you’re in the right place at the right time with a decent-quality camera, you should be able to snap some of the best shots of the season during the next few weeks.