How to edit for the ultimate fall photo

Fall is finally here, and it’s one of my favorite times to take photos besides winter (snowy pics are my fave). The bright, vibrant colors, the falling leaves…it all makes for a gorgeous pic.

But sometimes after you take the photo, you look back and realize it doesn’t look very…fall-like. Maybe too much green? The colors are too blue? It’s the primary fall months, so when you take the picture why isn’t it coming across as full blown fall?!

There’s a couple reasons for it, and I’ll give you some tips about how to get the full autumn feel in your pics! (Some editing required!)

Make it Warm

If you already have a decent backdrop that looks fall, then all you really need to do is warm it up to complete it. You can do this so easily on Instagram by changing the color temperature to yellow. In Photoshop, I adjusted the red and blue levels to make it warmer, then I added a orange photo filter over it.

Be careful when playing with the color temperature though. If you overdo it, people will be able to tell, and the image might look overprocessed as a result. So keep it minimal. It helps to have the before photo next to the photo you’re editing so you don’t go insane with the yellow/orange hues.

Throw a Filter on it

The simplest editing is just putting a filter on a photo. And for fall, filters are life savers. The popular teal/orange filters work amazing in transforming your photo into fall. In the photo above, you can see it’s a tad yellow in the back, but mostly green (especially the green grass you can see reflecting on my dog). I put a teal/orange filter on it, and it made it look perfectly autumn. You can download these filters through a quick google search or buy some presets from photoshop or third parties. I got mine for $10 from a photographer friend, and I got another free one off of r/photography on Reddit two years ago (the same filter I used on this photo!). Or you can edit it yourself in Lightroom by changing the red and blue primaries to teal and orange.

The teal/orange filters don’t work on everything though. If you have an already blue sky or orange subject, the filter unnaturally amplifies those colors so it looks overprocessed. If you already have these colors in your pic, you can use a warm photo filter instead which Lightroom and Photoshop both have by default! Or you can simply adjust the color temperature on Instagram editor towards yellow.

Fake it til ya make it

Is it the middle of fall, but your pics are still green? We can fix that.

In Photoshop, go into your channel mixer or camera raw filter and change the greens to reds on the green output channel (or if you’re doing it via camera raw filter, drag the aqua & green sliders to the far left). This will change the hue of the green to something more fall appropriate.

It may also affect the subject, so be careful with the mixing. You might see some green or red highlights where there shouldn’t be any. If this does happen, then you can create a mask (with the original photo layer underneath), and erase the reds from the affected parts or you can desaturate or clone out the color.

For the photo above, I also did some split toning with orange/blue to obtain that autumn vibe.

For an extra basic look, you can add a falling leaf filter. You can make your own or buy an overlay from a third party or Adobe for pretty cheap.

Take it Naturally

If you’re not a big editing fan, then stick to setting up the shot as best you can. Find a backdrop that features orange/yellow/red leaves. Even if the colorful trees are far away, they can still show up as pretty fall bokeh. If there’s no fallen leaves yet and a lot of green grass, shoot low angles to avoid it. To get the natural warm glow, shoot later in the day when the sun is low that way you won’t need any photo filter at all.

For more editing tips or help, my DMs are always open on Instagram! @Vispera