Autumn color tips: How to improve the fall color in your photos


posted Friday, October 1, 2021 at 12:15 PM EDT


Autumn color is coming and Blake Rudis of f64 Academy has a few quick tips to improve your fall photography. Ultimately, the goal of most fall landscape photos is to showcase the yellow, orange and red colors of fall foliage.

As Rudis points out, the brilliant colors you see with your eyes don't seem present when you load your RAW files into your image processor of choice. This has been my experience as well. JPEG previews on the camera look great, and the RAW files, especially the red colors, look washed out and bland. Cameras perform quite a bit of processing on JPEG files as soon as you capture the shot, and most of the time, the processing works well and colors pop in a scene. However, RAW files need processing to bring out their best qualities. The relatively blank slate is one of the most significant advantages of RAW files, but it can leave you feeling a bit discouraged at first when you expect to see a brilliant, vibrant photo. How then do we process RAW files to bring out the awesome autumn color we photograph?

One of the first steps you can take is inside Adobe Camera Raw. Within ACR, if you use the Calibration settings, you tweak individual red, green and blue color channels and start bringing back foliage color. The panel can be daunting at first, but as Rudis shows in his video below, it's straightforward in use. Experimentation works well here.

After performing color calibration, you can then do color separation using the Color Mixer panel in ACR. To see how Rudis uses the Color Mixer for fall photos, be sure to watch the full video above. He also covers how to offset a blue color cast and offers up additional tips for fall color. To see more videos from f64 Academy, visit YouTube

If you'd like more fall landscape shooting tips and tricks, including a breakdown of recommended gear, check out our article below.

Gearing up for autumn: A helpful guide to shooting fall landscapes from start to finish