Here are some of my best tips:
- Use a polarizing filter. This will enrich your photos dramatically. Be sure to have one for your main go-to lenses - you may need a step-up ring, so plan ahead! I have one that fits my largest lens openings, and when I need to use it on a smaller lens, I use the step-up ring - available most anywhere and they cost about $10.
- As with everything we do as photographers, composition matters! Shooting just the colors of the leaves without creating a careful composition doesn't cut it. Try to find a scene that provides genuine interest to the viewer - a good example is the first shot above, we've got blue sky, clouds, evergreens, beautiful yellows, and then the stream. Lots going on, keeping the viewer engaged.
- Incorporate water! I use very few filters, but I love my neutral-density filters, so that I can force longer exposures during the day, thus slowing down the water and giving the impression of movement.
- Add people in your big landscapes for scale. A child, for example, tossing a rock into that lake that you're photographing that has amazing fall foliage all around it.
- Don't forget about reflections and abstracts! In this photo, I was doing a commercial shoot for a golf course, but looked down and saw the beautiful reflection of the colorful leaves. I tossed a small stone in the pond to get the ripples and voila!
- Plan ahead. You probably know some great spots right around where you live - cool! Now take the extra step of going there soon, so you can make some real notes on where to shoot from, where the sun will be rising or setting, what the moon might be doing. There are many apps for your smartphone for this, one I love very much is The Photographer's Ephemeris.
Enjoy (shooting the fall colors) photography,