Last weekend was a great chance to capture some fall color. This season seems to be the most gradual transition to fall that I've seen in a while, so there may not be one big explosion of color this year. This is fine by me, as I never really look forward to the grays of winter.
This year we decided to head up to Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and stay in Matamoras, PA. This gave us great access to Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, though we didn't actually make it into latter of the three. Also, hotel rooms are pretty cheap in this area, so don't do like I did last time and sleep in the car.
I also simplified my gear for this trip, only taking the 5D, 24-105/4 IS, 17-40/4, and 50/1.8 (why not). I also had a small tripod with me, but it stayed in the car the whole time. The 24-105's IS was good enough that I could get shots of the waterfalls at 1/4 sec. hand-held.
We also lucked out with an amazing sunrise over Port Jervis on our first morning. We drove a few miles up both sides of the Delaware River. For future reference, you can skip driving up the Pennsylvania side of the river north of Matamoras; it's all private residences. The New York side was amazing along highway 97. There were some great overlooks and we caught some rising fog along the hilltops.
A useful strategy we've developed is to get up early, explore, take a mid-day nap, then explore some more in the afternoon and evening. The light is better at the extremes anyway, plus the crowds are nonexistent early in the morning. After our nap, we hit up some more trails at Dingmans Falls and Raymondskill Falls. I felt like I captured Dingmans Falls reasonably well last time, so I tried to focus more on close-up details and other elements that usually get missed.
This last picture was one I particularly wanted to get since these very same leaves saved me from a downpour last time I was on this trail a couple years ago. Thankfully we had great weather this time around.
Make sure to take advantage of the fall color this year. It seems like every fall is a little different. Some are better than others, and sometimes the weather is against you, but there are almost always opportunities to be had. Happy shooting!