A Twankly Mess by Pacheco / CC BY-ND 2.0

If you’re looking for some inspiration or ideas that you can put to use in your photography this autumn here are 15 suggestions, along with an example of each.

1. Autumn Waterfall

Waterfalls are wonderful photo subjects year-round, but like many other landscapes, they tend to be the most beautiful when surrounded by fall foliage. A good example of this is Kilgore Falls.

Kilgore Falls is managed by Rocks State Park in northern Maryland.

I published a detailed description of the park and falls earlier this year, and I recently made a return trip to photograph Kilgore Falls at a different time of year. I missed the peak autumn colors, but a November visit did have a much different feel than my previous visit in the spring.

Getting to Kilgore Falls is pretty easy, with just about a 5-minute hike. If you go at the right time it can be a very peaceful place. My recent visit on a November weekday allowed me to be the only person in the area, which was great for being able to photograph the falls and enjoy the beautiful setting. One of the things I like about Kilgore Falls is that you can walk around and get lots of different views and perspectives from the rocks on the other side of the water.

Be sure to bring a wide-angle lens because you can get pretty close to the falls.

By Marc Andre

2. Row of Trees

A line or row of colorful trees presents an excellent scene for a photo.

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Fall in Issaquah

Fall in Issaquah by Thales / CC BY 2.0

3. Closeup of Leaves

Capture the details of autumn by getting up close with colorful leaves. It could be fallen leaves on the ground or just colorful leaves still on the tree.


Fallen by Nana B. Agyel / CC BY 2.0

4. Autumn Grunge

Textured, grungy elements tend to work very well with the typical autumn colors and fall foliage.

Autumn Grunge

Ruins by Nicholas Tonelli / CC BY 2.0

5. Forest

Capture many colorful trees to showcase the season.

Fall Foliage

Florida Fall Foliage by Olin Gilbert / CC BY 2.0

6. Dock/Pier

Find a lake near you with a dock or pier surrounded by fall colors and leaves.

Autumn Colors

Autumn Colors by Matthias Ripp / CC BY 2.0

7. Fog

Foggy mornings in the fall tend to create moody photos that you will love.

Foggy Morning

Foggy Morning Sunrise on Finch Lake by FinchLake2000 / CC BY 2.0

8. A Show of Contrast

Emphasize the contrast of autumn colors against other subjects, like the light-colored trees in this photo.


A Twankly Mess by Pacheco / CC BY-ND 2.0

9. Railroad Tracks

Railroad tracks are another popular subject in any season, and there is just something about the fallen leaves that make them even more interesting.

Autumn Railroad Tracks

Railroad Tracks by Marc Andre

10. Change of Season

If there is an early snow or ice storm you can capture the colors of autumn along with the signs of incoming winter.


Snowy October Morning in Millstone by b w / CC BY-SA 2.0

11. Tree-Lined Road

Tree-lined roads are beautiful when the leaves have changed colors.

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Tree-Lined Road

Leaf Tunnel at North Lake, CA by Pacheco / CC BY-ND 2.0

12. Progression

Showcase the stages or progression of the change.


Stages by Scott Robinson / CC BY 2.0

13. Fallen Leaves on the Road/Path

Roads or paths covered in fallen leaves are another great subject.

Leaves on the Road

Sobers Run Trail by Nicholas A. Tonelli / CC BY 2.0

14. Fall Foliage Reflected on a Lake

Find a lake near you and photograph the autumn colors being reflected by the water.

Autumn Reflection

Autumn Reflection by Lida / CC BY-ND 2.0

15. Barns and Farms

Barns and farms can be stunning photography subjects in the context of the autumn season.

Autumn Barn

Autumn Country Barn by Forest Wander / CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo license links: CC BY 2.0, CC BY-SA 2.0, CC BY-ND 2.0

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