Minnesota Fall Color Ideas



Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area – Photo credit Explore Minnesota Tourism

Warm, sunny days and cool nighttime temperatures will soon result in the appearance of fall colors across Minnesota.

The brilliant colors of fall inspire us to try to capture some of these beautiful images with our cameras. But too often, the great scene we saw doesn’t translate into a great photo. However, with a little extra thought and care, we casual photographers can catch some of the magic of fall in our pictures.

Ely Minnesota Wilderness Photo – Photo Credit: Explore Minnesota Tourism

Here are some tips from Explore Minnesota Tourism photographer Paul Stafford. You may have seen much of Paul’s fabulous photo work on commercials, in magazines and on billboards in and around Minnesota as well as filling hundreds of pages on the Explore Minnesota Tourism web site at www.exploreminnesota.com

Paul says “photos of fall landscapes need something significant to catch the eye, such as a figure, a prominent physical feature, a condition of light, or a special splash of color. Paul believes good landscape images often require two or more visits to a location to find the right viewpoint and the right time of day to photograph the scene. 


Minnesota’s Leech Lake Area – Photo credit:  Explore Minnesota Tourism

Paul suggests you try some of these ideas for composition and lighting”;
Show depth in landscapes by putting elements in the foreground, middle distance and background. The eye travels to a light spot in a picture, so try to place one deep in your composition.
• Possibly frame your subject with branches or other elements in the foreground to call attention to it.
• To avoid a static, symmetrical look, set up off-balanced compositions. Place the focus of interest away from the center of the photograph.
• Shoot early and late in the day. Early morning and late afternoon light turns a golden color, bathing everything it strikes in a warm glow.
• Try using a polarizing filter, which deepens blue skies and enriches fall colors by removing glare and reflections in shiny leaves. 


Minnesota’s fall color reports are gathered from information provided by color observers in state parks.

Typically, fall colors in Minnesota peak in along the Canadian border in mid to late September. Peak colors generally come to the northern third of Minnesota in the last week in September or early October. The following weekends bring peak colors in central Minnesota including the Twin Cities area. On average, the southern and southeastern part of the state should have good color through the third week in October.

“The fall color season always brings visitors out to enjoy the scenic beauty of Minnesota state parks.  Since all 72 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas are open to the public year round, people have the opportunity for recreation and relaxation in all seasons.
Another major factor that helps boost fall visitation – fewer bugs and mosquitoes.

On weekends, Minnesota’s state parks are usually pretty busy in the fall.  If you want to spend a more quiet time in the park, come during the week if you can. During the week, camping is more available and you likely will not need a reservation.

Visitors from several  states flock to Minnesota each fall to enjoy the spectacular fall colors and the potential of capturing a special memory on film.

Minnesota’s Savanna Portage State Park – Photo Credit: Explore Minnesota Tourism

You can follow the progress of the fall colors in Minnesota be checking the state tourism website at www.exploreminnesota.com.

About little joe

Born on the Midwest Plains...and live the same way. Enjoyed a small town upbringing and a big city career. Value small town ethics and the big city opportunity. Write from the heart while wearing a smile. and enjoy all that's around me
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