When one thinks of fall colors, that image conjured up is usually of a location somewhere in the NorthEast
US. Nobody really think of the desert. But don't forget that deserts have oases, and those oases can produce
some stunning color that rival those of the east.
- Look for the Water
Desert vegetation tends to congregate, and sometimes be downright abundant around a desert river or stream.
You'll find cottonwoods lining the banks which will turn a brilliant gold during fall's prime time.
More around the water images.
- Be Ready for Prime Time
Depending on the area, Prime Time will differ. In Zion National Park, Prime time actually lasts the
longest of any of the other areas because of the varying altitudes and tree species in the park. In Zion Canyon,
the oaks and maples tend to peak earlier (late October), and the cottonwoods not till November. In lower and more
open areas such as Arches National Park or Canyonlands, the peak will be sometime late September to early October.
Check with the National Park Service or the
BLM for the specifics of the area you're interested in.
- Look in Out-of-the-Way Places
You'd be surprised what lurks in the crevices. Look for places where leaves might collect after being
scattered by the wind or rain.
More out-of-the-way images.
- Use a Polarizer
to reduce the glare that might be shining off of wet leaves which will in effect saturate your colors and
make the leaves look vibrant.
Look for scenes where the color is a background element and the actual subject is somthing very simple like
the branches of a tree that are flowing in beautiful, simple lines.
More simplified images.
- Look for Details
Some of the most beautiful images are found in the small details. Look for fallen leaves on sand or rocks,
or small vegetation growing in odd places.
More detail images
- Look for Late Blooming Flowers
Several types of flowering plants bloom in the fall. They can add some wonderful color to an otherwise
monotoned landscape in a vegetation-challenged desert.
More late-bloomin' images
- Try Optical Extraction
Using a telephoto lense, "extract" a small element out of a distant scene.
- Photograph Color for Color's Sake
Sometimes the color is the thing that makes the picture, and without color, the image would
- Look for Weather
Autumn skies can appear pretty menacing at times, and that makes for some very interesting lighting conditions
and cloud formations.