The danger of going on a leaf-peeping tour -- or, yes, leaf-peeping cruise -- is coming home with hundreds of pictures of rolling mountainsides covered in a patchwork quilt of orange, red and yellow. While these vistas are undeniably beautiful in person, they lose much of their power out of context. Ever sat through someone else's vacation slideshow? Now imagine that your friend took nothing but pictures of trees.
But that shouldn't stop you from photographing landscape shots during the fall. You just want to be a little more conscious of the subject, the lighting and how you're framing the shot. For starters, look for a specific focal point that automatically catches the eye. Maybe you can shoot a single red-leafed tree in a sea of yellow or a swollen river cutting through a line of majestic oaks.
Take advantage of overcast or even rainy days. Cloudy skies have an interesting effect on lighting. They diffuse light, allowing the natural colors of the leaves to really pop. Also, try to take shots of the trees from someplace other than the window of your car or the railing of the boat. Get up close to the trees and take pictures of the canopy from below. And don't forget to look down. What about the field blanketed in leaves, or leaves floating on a calm river's edge?
While we're getting creative, let's talk about time-lapse photography.