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Take in the fall scenery, but don’t forget safetyTake in the fall scenery, but don’t forget safety

Fall photo tips

By Mike Fizer, AOPA Pilot senior photographer

  • Shoot in the first or last hour of daylight; the sun is low on the horizon and accentuates the forms and textures. It also reduces the contrast between the highlights and shadows.
  • Use a fast shutter-speed to reduce motion blur created by a shaking camera.
  • Use a polarizing filter to reduce haze, cut reflections on water, and increase color saturation.
  • Avoid shooting through glass, but if unavoidable, make sure the glass is clean.

Fall is one of the prettiest times of the year to take photos. And one of the best ways to see the fall foliage is from up above, but it’s important to be aware of your surroundings as there may be a lot of other aircraft out doing “leaf-peeping” flights at the same time as you.

For a refresher on the most effective ways to “see and avoid” under VFR, read the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s Collision Avoidance Safety Advisor. During scenic flights, it’s easy for pilots to get focused on the ground and lose track of what the airplane is doing. The foundation’s Maneuvering Flight-Hazardous to Your Health Safety Advisor will also help you avoid mishaps. If you have passengers on board to enjoy the view, use the helpful tips from AOPA’s subject report on flying with friends and family. This will prepare them ahead of time to ensure little distraction and an overall good ride.

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