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Photos of Fall Foliage in the Ozarks

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These photographs show what you can expect on average in Ozark fall foliage. Some years fall foliage color will be a little brighter, and other years a little duller than shown here. All photos were made by 2Cooleys during our fall foliage report runs. They have not been taken at "secret" or hard-to-find locations, nor have they been "Photo Shopped" into brighter colors than what naturally occurs.

Driving Tours Having Good Foliage Scenes

1. Aerial Photos of Ozark Foliage
What you would see if you flew over the Ozark Mountains during peak foliage.
2. Roadside Foliage Photos
What you'll see driving local highways
3. Foliage On The Water
Rent a boat on a lake or river, or hike a creek side trail to see these foliage scenes
4. Foliage From The Hill Tops
Hike or drive to a hilltop for these views
5. Hillside Foliage
Photos we made while looking up at hillsides from valley roads, rivers, and hiking trails.
6. Understory Foliage
Here's what you'll see up close at eye level walking under the forest canopy. Understory foliage is some of the best color you can find.
7. Colored Leaves
What's a foliage site without leaf photos!

 

Truth In Photography
For those of you who wonder about how much we "Photo Shop" our images, the answer is very little. We shoot in camera raw at 5300K, usually with a mild polarized setting. We do not ramp up saturation in post production. Thus what you see in our photos is almost dead-on for real life color.

We pick a location, then visit that location at different times during the day to evaluate what light conditions are best for making photos. Any over-saturated look is simply what we captured during optimum light brilliance. We have learned that optimum light conditions for any scene rarely last more than 10 minutes.

The best light is usually about 20 minutes before the morning sun rises over the horizon, or the evening sun sets below it. Due to the angle of the sun on these low horizons, the light shines through the leaves at that time of day, not on them as it would at high noon. This is why the colors are so bright and seem to glow. You will see the same effect with the naked eye if you arrive on scene at the moment of "magic light".

 

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