Planning a Fall Foliage Trip?

Fall Foliage Prediction Map, set for the week of  September 20th. The map shows a color-coded display of where peak color will be in the US that week.
Fall Foliage Prediction Map, set for the week of September 20th. The map shows a color-coded display of where peak color will be in the US that week.

By Frank Gallagher, NANPA Blog Coordinator

Each year, I look forward to colorful fall foliage. Autumn is one of my favorite times of year for landscape and nature photography. Temperatures are pleasant, mosquitos and gnats are mostly gone, and trees are a riot of color. If, that is, I time it right. That’s why, for the past few years, I’ve used the Fall Foliage Prediction Map, an interactive map showing the predicted progress of fall color across the United States. I’ve written about it before but, until now, had never looked behind the scenes to see how the map and the predictions are created. Come with me behind the curtain and meet David Angotti, the map’s creator.

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Finding Fall Foliage

Fall foliage at Glade Creek Grist Mill, Babcock State Park, WV.
Glade Creek Grist Mill, Babcock State Park, WV.

Story & photo by Frank Gallagher

Welcome to October and to (we hope) the brilliant colors of fall foliage. If you’re like many photographers, this is a favorite time of year. The vibrant hues of the leaves make for beautiful landscapes, intimate scenes, still lives and macros. If you live in Vermont or Jackson Hole, maybe you can just look out the window to predict color but, for the rest of us who have to travel to find it, how can we plan our photo outings to capture peak color?

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