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Photographing Autumn in Minnesota

Updated on September 15, 2014

Five Tips to Enjoying Autumn Photography

Autumn is my favorite season to photograph. Everything seems brighter and fresher with the addition of the colorful autumn leaves and I love the clear crisp days.

We have a lot to photograph in my home area of Missouri, but my husband and I also like to travel each fall to capture the glorious colors in other parts of the country. This fall we journeyed to the state of Minnesota where we found autumn colors to be at their peak.

Over the years I have developed some tips that work well for me in photographing the autumn landscape. I will share them with you on this page.

photographs by mbgphoto

Tip #1 Use a Polarizing Filter

Brilliant Color - put "sunglasses" on your camera

A polarizing filter will really bring out the colors on your fall photographs. Think of it as sun glasses for your camera. Just as your sunglasses bring out the colors in the scenery the polarizing filter will bring them out on your photographs. A circular polarizing filter will allow you to adjust the amount of polarizing effect on your photo.

The photo above was pretty bright on it's own, so I used only a slight amount of the polarizing effect. On other photos I would adjust the filter to give it the brightest and most natural effect.

Brightly Colored Foliage

Bright Colored Foliage by Shore

Bright Colored Foliage by Shore
Bright Colored Foliage by Shore

Circular Polarizer Filter - for Canon SX 60 HS Camera

The camera I used the most on this trip was my Canon Powershot SX60 HS. This kit includes a circular polarizing filter, which I used to shoot all of my fall photograhs.

Tip #2 Use Natural Lines to Draw You into the Photo

Lines will Draw the Viewer into Photo - autumn photography

On this beautiful path in the woods, I used the curving of the path to draw a viewer into the photograph. In the photos below the curve of the shoreline, the line of the rising sun on the water, and the path all serve to add interest to the photo.

Winding Paths full of Color

Find Interesting Objects for Your Autumn Scene

Split Rock Lighthouse


Weathered Boat by River

Weathered Boat by River
Weathered Boat by River

Frame Objects in Fall Leaves

Lighthouse in Autumn

framing a photo

This photo of Split Rock lighthouse is a great example of what I try to do with framing an object in fall colors. I love to find something I really want to photograph and then walking around the trees till I can find the perfect spot to photograph the object framed in the leaves.

Framed Lighthouse

Framed Lighthouse
Framed Lighthouse

Duluth Lighthouse Framed in Fall Foliage

Duluth Lighthouse Framed in Fall Foliage
Duluth Lighthouse Framed in Fall Foliage

Get in Close

Don't Forget the Close Up Photos - leaves in early morning light

Sometimes we get so caught up in the sweeping landscapes of fall we forget to get in close. Taking the time to stop and look down for the small objects can give you some beautiful photos. I love the way the early morning sun and the dew drops add interest to these leaves.

Leaves with Morning Dew

Leaves with Morning Dew
Leaves with Morning Dew

Canon Powershot SX40 HS - my favorite camera

I had taken two cameras on this trip my Sony DSLR and my Canon Powershot SX40. My Sony developed problems early in the trip so I switched to the Canon, which is my newer camera, and used it the rest of the trip. I was very happy with the results. I think the Canon Powershot took great photos and it is very lightweight and easy to take when hiking and climbing around on rocks to get the right photo. The camera also has an all in one zoom 35x zoom lens that goes from a wide angle 24mm all the way to a 840 mm zoom. I had an adapter to add a polarizing filter so it turned out to be the perfect camera for this trip.

Do you have a fall photograph tip to share? - Leave your comments here

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    • oceansnsunsets profile image


      4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      There is something so incredible about the fall season. I truly love it. It is so great to see other people's photos of fall from different areas of the states that I have not been able to see with my own eyes. So for that, thank you for sharing these pictures and hub! I enjoyed it so much. I love the water, the paths, the leaves and all their colors. Nature is amazing, the art within nature truly brings me joy and calms the soul as well. Lovely!

    • mbgphoto profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Beth Granger 

      4 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Thanks ajgodinho. We are headed up to Canada tomorrow so I hope to see fall three times this year. One in Canada next week, two when we return to Missouri in October and then I third when we head to Atlanta in November. A great way to celebrate my favorite seasons three times.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Autumn is my favourite season of all and it's here today. It's hard to say bye to Summer, but I like Fall as well. You have some beautiful Autumn pictures here!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great photos although I am unaware of Canon "SX60"

      I have SX50, probably what you're thinking of.

    • Jen Maskill profile image

      Jen Maskill 

      5 years ago

      Gorgeous photos and some great tips Thanks

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      5 years ago from United States

      Autumn is a beautiful time of the year for photography and your photos are all beautiful! A great way to take a walk even when it is raining outside :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Beautiful photography as always, and a walk down memory lane with some of the photos. :)

    • kristalulabelle profile image


      5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Beautiful pictures and great photography tips as well! I learned something new today!

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 

      5 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      My tip for fall photography is to always bring your camera with you. Who knows what pretty scene will be there even on a daily walk. I liked your lens a lot! ::::blessed::::

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 

      5 years ago from Albany New York

      Your photography is a joy to look at. Thank you for sharing your tips.

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 

      5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      You give such wonderful photography tips! I like the one about how lines such as in trees help draw the eye. I use this in my paintings as well. :)

    • designsbyharriet profile image


      5 years ago from Indiana

      Autumn has not yet come to Indiana, but I love your tips.

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 

      5 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      Great tips, and I love the way you've worked lighthouses in again! I think I visit the one in Duluth way back in the 1960s, on a visit to my family!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      your tips are spot on!

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 

      5 years ago

      What gorgeous fall photos!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      It looks like you saw a lot of beauty on your trips. Nice fall photos.

    • maryLuu profile image


      5 years ago

      Lovely pics! I'll try to shoot some asap! Thanks!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Wow, these are beautiful fall photos. I love the colors. So gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      5 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Such beautiful fall photos! Wish I could take photos as lovely as these.


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