Home Uncategorized Everyone’s Must Shoot List for Fall

Everyone’s Must Shoot List for Fall

Everyone’s Must Shoot List for Fall

The signs are everywhere. From the days growing shorter, to the unbearable heat starting to finally ease a little, there is no denying that summer is slowly growing to a close. Which means it’s time to dust off that fall shooting list, grab the camera, and capture some great seasonal images.

Illustration © Karen Foley – Dreamstime.com

There are so many great topics to shoot once fall rolls around that it can sometimes be difficult to narrow down your subject matter. To help, here are my favorite subjects to shoot in the fall.

Illustration © Karen Foley – Dreamstime.com

Back to School

While it may not be your kid’s favorite time of year, back to school season offers a rich set of subjects for pictures. Images of yellow school buses on lonely country roads, kids with new shoes and backpacks trudging off for that first day, or images of new school supplies in well planned still life images are all in the offering.

Fall Foliage

The top of everyone’s mind when you mention fall is the brilliant yet fleeting color display Mother Nature paints over the trees this time of year. Get the most out of your fall foliage shooting with a little advanced planning.

Panorama of fog in valley of Shenandoah National Park on sunny fall day.

Photo© Karen Foley – Dreamstime.com

Scout your location well in advance of the actual change of season’s to find the perfect location before the crowds of casual leaf peepers clog the roads and block access to the perfect spot.

Use online tools like Fall Foliage Prediction Map to find the perfect time to capture the peak of colors, or Google to find a map more specific to your region. Then utilize the Photographer’s Ephemeris to narrow down sunrise/sunset times and angels of light to plan the perfect time of day to capture colors in all their glory.

Harvest Season

Fall is a time of bountiful harvest, and the fields and all that fresh produce is finally ready for their cameos. Farmer’s markets and local farms offer a wide array of fruits and vegetables in iconic rustic displays just waiting for your camera lens. Many agricultural regions host festivals dedicated to their reigning crop – like apples, pumpkins, garlic and more.

Photo© Gsk2013 – Dreamstime.com

Capture the images of people enjoying the local bounty, still life images of the harvest on display, or sweeping landscape images of freshly baled hay with rusting old farm equipment against the backdrop of fall colors – just like Norman Rockwell would paint.

Corn Mazes and Pumpkin Patches

As the corn gets harvested and the pumpkins come to maturity, farmers around the country start opening those Corn Mazes and Pumpkin Patches. With Halloween just around the corner, this is a great backdrop for family portraits, back to school pictures of the kids or just a selfie or two with your favorite person. They can also render stunning landscape images all on their own.

Photo © Gingermanphoto – Dreamstime.com

Fairs and carnivals

No summer can end without the annual State, County or Local fair or carnival. From big time carnival rides and games, to the small homemade dunking booths – carnivals and fairs are rich in subject matter. Capture the joy of people during the day, and the magic of the lights and signs at night. Just make sure you don’t forget all the great food that is so unique to this setting – funnel cakes and fried Snicker anyone?

Migrations big and small

As the days grow shorter and the temperatures start to drop, creatures great and small start heading to warmer climates. Depending on where you live, you may see geese or monarchs butterflies; whales or hummingbirds all heading to their winter grounds. Look at resources like Google or the Audubon Society to offer insight into the animals that may be migrating to or through your region, you may be surprised who makes a guest appearance near you.

Photo © Linda Etheridge – Dreamstime.com

And don’t neglect the critters that are sticking around through the winter. Many will be growing fantastic winter coats, building dens or dams, or looking for that perfect mate for the long cold nights. Capture the unique conditions and behaviors of your local fauna this time of year.


Low humidity combined with still mild evening temperatures makes this a perfect time to head out at night for some AstroPhotography. If you have ever wanted to shoot the Milky Way, now is the best time. Dark Sky Parks are, as the name implies, certified to provide night skies without that annoying light pollution to block out the stars. See the list of Dark Sky Park around the world to find one near you, then try your hand at capturing those stunning starry skies.

Methodist church illuminated against night skies in Bodie State Historic Park.

Photo © Karen Foley – Dreamstime.com

Fall also offers a number of Meteor Showers worthy of a little lost sleep to capture. Check out the dates and conditions for the upcoming Orionids, Leonids and Geminids Meteor Showers for your area, as well as some tips for best viewing.

No matter you areas of interest, the fall season offers a great variety of subject to shoot. So grab your camera and make the most of the great weather before the winter season sets in.

Karen Foley is a freelance photographer and frequent contributor to dreamtime.com. See more of her work at karenfoleyphotography.com.


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