Towards the end of September I traveled to Vermont on a mission to capture some amazing fall foliage pictures. Leading up to this trip, I carefully monitored several websites that provided Fall Foliage reports so I would know what type of color I could expect to see. I was aware that I would be visiting Vermont during what was usually the very early stages of foliage, but I knew I’d be renting a car and was willing to drive as many hours necessary in order to “chase” the foliage.
A couple of weeks prior to my trip, after contemplating the purchase of a new digital camera, I decided to rent one instead, which I rented from BorrowLenses.com. I ended up renting a Nikon D3x, which is the top of the line camera that Nikon carries and has a reputation of being an incredible camera to use for landscape photos. This was actually one of the new digital cameras I had been thinking of purchasing but at a cost of $7999.00, I chose to rent it instead to find out if I’d be happy with it.
There was a lot more reasoning as to why I chose to rent instead of buy the Nikon D3x and I wrote an article that was published on the CameraLabs.com website by my friend, Gordon Laing. My “Nikon D3x Review
” article takes you through an adventure in my mind as I try to decide what would be the best type of camera for me to upgrade to. I discussed what I liked and didn’t like about the D3x, along with some other insight I think many people will enjoy hearing about. You can read my article here
. Even if my article doesn’t sound like something of interest to you, if you’ve been trying to figure out what type of camera you’d like to purchase, Gordon’s site is filled with tons of awesome camera reviews
on most DSLR cameras.
As expected, I arrived in Vermont a bit early for the foliage season, but I still managed to get some amazing shots. I was also able to drive to the Northernmost areas of the state, where foliage appeared much further along.
Because I had such a great time during my visit to Vermont, I decided to travel back there just 2 short weeks later. This time, I brought my wife and three daughters because I felt they really needed to experience the Fall Foliage season for themselves.
So, after 2 visits to Vermont during the 2011 Fall Foliage season, I was able to capture some amazing Fall Foliage photos that I’m extremely pleased with. I’ve chosen some of my favorites to share with you, which are all shown below. Some were taken with the Nikon D3x and others were taken with my Canon 7D. (If you click on any of the photos, they should open and enlarge to much higher resolution versions.)
This is a beautiful sunset over Lake Champlain, which I captured the very first night I arrived in Vermont.
My first full day in Vermont I was in search of a sunrise photo which would show the sun beaming between two mountain peaks. Thanks to Google Earth, I was able to scout out the perfect location while in my hotel room the night before. The morning fog didn’t agree with my plans at first, but quickly subsided just after the sun came up and revealed an amazing scene.
Here’s another view of the sunrise that I captured during my first full day in Vermont. This was taken just to the right of the previous picture. Even though there wasn’t much colorful foliage to be seen, I am still very happy with what I saw and captured.
This was an unexpected find. As I drove from Jericho to Smugglers Notch, I zoomed past this scene. I slammed on my brakes, backed up into a close-by driveway and hurried over to capture what I had seen. Two bicyclers passed by me while I was getting this shot and I overhead them talking about how beautiful this was.
This is a photo I will never forget getting and will always carry a very special meaning to me. In order to get this shot, I had to hike up a mountain. I was expecting the hike to be a very easy 1 mile journey, but I must have read something incorrectly because it turned out to be a 3 mile hike (each way) on what I later learned was a “difficult” trail. When I reached the top, I was out of water, extremely exhausted and was shaking all over. This was 2 hours before the sun was due to set and I knew if I began the hike back down without capturing my “sunset shot”, I’d never forgive myself. I spent the next 2 hours doing a lot of soul searching and luckily the sun cooperated and provided me with a spectacular show. I barely made it back to my car and ended up spending the whole next day in bed recuperating.
I took this photo during my second visit to Vermont, which was 2 weeks after my first visit. After my family and I finished our early morning breakfast at the Smugglers Notch Resort, we walked around the base of the ski mountain and found this tree. I enhanced the colors a tiny bit inside of Photoshop and also added some extra blurring and vignette to help make the closest leaf reach out to the person viewing the photo.
This photo was taken the night before my family and I left Vermont. We hiked up a very easy, one-mile trail and were rewarded with this view. This is towards the very top of one of the Smugglers Notch mountains and was taken on one of the most beautiful days of the year. The temperature was a perfect 70 degrees and the foliage was at peak.
During my second visit to Vermont, I got up before sunrise in hopes of capturing a view of the sun rising up over the distant mountains that could be seen from where we were staying at Smugglers Notch Resort. I ended up having to hike up the ski lift line, which proved to be much more challenging than I had expected. As I huffed and puffed, I finally reached a spot where I could see the distant mountains. And even though the sun had already risen and wasn’t visible from the vantage point I was at, I still ended up capturing something which showed the foliage nearing peak conditions.
Here’s another shot I captured during the hike my family and I took on one of the Smugglers Notch mountains. I took this during our journey back down the mountain as the sun was was close to disappearing back behind a distant mountain.
As my family and I were driving back to our room at Smugglers Notch Resort, I couldn’t help but keep looking in all directions to see what the sunset was doing to the skyline colors. I was looking left and right and forward and backwards trying to catch a glimpse of something photograph-worthy. Finally, we passed by a slow moving body of water and the bright full moon’s reflection caught by attention. Fortunately, there was a pullover area just past where I viewed this scene. I stopped our car and jumped out with my camera gear and began walking back towards the spot I had just seen and captured this gorgeous view.
This is a view of the sun setting in St Johnsbury, Vermont. As I frantically drove around trying to find a good spot to capture the quickly approaching sunset, I finally found a location that would suffice, which was on a road towards the top of a mountain. I took over 100 pictures of this scene over a 10-minute period and ended up choosing this one as my favorite. Oh, the short, white streak/line towards the top right of the picture is from the vapor trail of a plane which had previously flown by. It helped with the composition of the shot in that it points towards the sun. Thanks Mr. Pilot!