Capturing Fall Colors

Challenge for week 3

We have a lot of Resources for this Challenge.

Task 1: Complementary Color Hunt

Definition of Complementary Colors – Colors positioned across from one another on the color wheel are known as complementary colors. This pairing generates a natural contrast that captures our visual interest and captivates our attention.

Objective: Capture images that prominently showcase complementary colors.


  1. Begin by reviewing the color wheel and identifying pairs of complementary colors (e.g., blue & orange, red & green, purple & yellow).
  2. Find subjects that naturally exhibit these color pairs. For example, a blue sky against the orange hues of a sunset, or the red berries against green foliage.
  3. Frame your subject in such a way that both complementary colors are evident and balanced in the shot. Ensure one doesn’t overwhelm the other unless that’s your creative intent.
  4. Post-processing (Optional): During editing, enhance the vibrancy of your complementary colors to make them stand out further, but avoid over-saturating.

Examples of Complementary Colors

Here are some examples of complementary colors that can be observed during the fall season:

  1. Red and Green:
    • A vibrant red maple leaf against a backdrop of evergreen trees or grass.
    • Ripe red apples on a tree with green leaves.
  2. Orange and Blue:
    • Bright orange autumn leaves against a clear blue sky.
    • Orange pumpkins or gourds in a field with a distant blue mountain range or water body in the background.
  3. Yellow and Purple:
    • Golden yellow aspen or birch leaves contrasting with purple asters or heather.
    • A scene of yellow fall foliage reflecting in a body of water with purple shadows or distant purple hills.
  4. Brown and Aqua/Turquoise:
    • The brown, earthy tones of fallen leaves or tree trunks juxtaposed with the aqua or turquoise colors of a nearby lake or river.
  5. Gold and Deep Blue:
    • Golden-hour sunlight illuminating golden-yellow leaves, creating a stark contrast against the deep blue of the early evening sky or a shaded area.
  6. Rusty Red and Teal:
    • Rust-colored oak leaves or ferns in contrast with the teal shades of a pond or river.

By understanding and leveraging the color wheel, you can enhance the impact of your fall photographs and make the colors pop.

Task 2: Analogous Color Story

Definition of Analogous – Analagous colors are often found in nature, for example in the changing colors of autumn leaves progressing around the color wheel. Analogous colors are three or more colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. An analagous color scheme is characterized by a lack of contrast, unlike a complementary color scheme.

Objective: Capture an image that tells a story using analogous colors.


  1. Refer to the color wheel and choose a set of 3-4 analogous colors (colors that sit next to each other on the wheel). This could be a range like yellow-orange-red or blue-green-teal.
  2. Choose a theme or subject that naturally aligns with your color choice. For example, if you chose a cooler color scheme like blue-green-teal, you might focus on a serene lakeside scene.
  3. Take a series of photos that showcase these colors in various ways — it could be a close-up of dew on a leaf, a mid-shot of a person wearing those colors, or a landscape shot.
  4. Try to add depth to your photos by layering different shades of your analogous colors. This can add interest and a sense of dimension to your images.
  5. Post-processing (Optional): Enhance the selected colors during editing, but be cautious to maintain the natural feel and not overdo the saturation.

Examples of Analogous Color Story

  1. Golden Yellows to Fiery Reds: As leaves change, they can shift from a golden yellow to a rich gold, then to an orange, and eventually to a deep red. Capturing a scene that showcases this gradient can present an analogous color story.
  2. Deep Reds to Burgundies: Some trees, especially certain maple varieties, transition from a deep red to an almost burgundy or maroon shade. This progression offers a narrower yet visually rich analogous palette.
  3. Earthy Browns to Oranges: Think of scenes where the ground is covered in fallen leaves, transitioning from deep browns to bright oranges.
  4. Greens to Yellow-Greens: Not all trees and vegetation change to the warm golds and reds immediately. Some shift from green to a yellow-green first. This transition, especially when captured in forests or groves, can depict an analogous story.
  5. Sunset or Sunrise Colors: Fall sunrises and sunsets can be particularly vibrant. The sky might transition from a deep violet or pink to a fiery orange or golden yellow in a short span, creating a beautiful analogous palette.
  6. Fields of Late Blooming Flowers: Some flowers bloom late into the fall, and fields of these can range from deep purples to bright pinks.
  7. Oranges to Deep Browns in Pumpkins and Gourds: Think of a pumpkin patch. The variety of gourds and pumpkins can range in color from bright oranges to earthy browns.

For both tasks, encourage you to critically evaluate your work and reflect on how understanding of color theory improves your photography.