How I shot those leaves


Devil's Lake, Baraboo, Wisconsin USA. I frequent this state park often, both from the ground but mostly by air. There is a section of the park that has this incredibly dense oak canopy. It's surreal. In October each year, this canopy transforms into a cacophony of color, yellows, greens, reds and purples. I normally like to shoot this mid afternoon under direct sun. That way I get sharp contrast and the color pops. I made this shot from a Cessna 172 through an open window using a Canon 5D4 and a Canon 24-70mm lens from an altitude of about 1,000' up. The trickiest part of pulling this shot off is banking the aircraft 45ยบ so I can get an exact straight down shot.

In post production, I didn't do a whole lot as I aim to do as much in camera as possible. In Lightroom using the RAW dialog, I'll go thru each color slider individually and adjust up or down until they all look good. One trick... pay attention to the color luminance sliders. In this shot some of the colors are particularly shiny as a result of the sun glancing off the leaves, the yellows and reds especially. I'll pull the luminance of those colors down to recover them.

I posted this on Instagram and many of you liked it (15,000) of you to be exact. Thank you so much for the support on instagram. I make these shots to share, it's as simple as that. Since many of you expressed interest in prints, this one in particular would make an awesome canvas print and I'm currently researching printers. Stay tuned. In the meantime, I know many of you wanted screensavers. I made two for ya'll. One for desktop, another for mobile. Links below!