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Capturing the Fall Colors of Northern New Mexico

September 25, 2015

Fall is officially here, and the colors are starting to pop.  The sun is still warm, but there’s a hint of fall in the evening breeze as our nights begin to cool. This season is best enjoyed by getting into nature and capturing the moment with your family and friends.  Whether you’re using an interchangeable lens DSLR or just your cell phone, the fall colors, mountain vistas, and knowing the right place and time can make anyone a photo pro. Peak viewing will take place in the next two to four weeks, so here are a few tips to get you started. Peak viewing will take place in the next two to four weeks.

Plan your shoot

Morning Fall Colors Photography

Golden aspen trees make a great subject, and the lighting will take them to the next level.  Since we obviously can’t control the sun, you’ll want to be out during the Golden Hour which is the period shortly after sunrise and before sunset. The times are variable as the seasons change, so sit back and enjoy the views as you wait for that perfect amount of light. Be sure to leave yourself enough time to get on location and set up as the sun moves quickly! Additionally, the fog in the morning can add a dramatic element that will get your friends wishing they joined your trip.  So, find a spot to watch the sun rise or set, and snap away.

Take a drive

Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway Map


An early morning drive through the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway  is amazing.  This 85-mile loop takes you through New Mexico’s finest mountain scenery as you circle the state’s tallest mountain, Wheeler Peak.  We suggest that you start in the high alpine of Angel Fire and head north to the box canyon of Red River.  Continue winding through the mountains as you enter Questa and finally Taos.  This loop will never disappoint, and the photo opportunities are endless.

Know the locals

Ute Park Elk Fall Colors Photography

If you want to get up close and personal with some of the local wildlife, please be careful! Angel Fire has many wide-open spaces where elk, deer, turkeys, and even eagles call home.  One great location is just south of the village, Valley of the Utes, turning left on Cabillo Ln. from HWY 434, or follow the Circle staying on HWY 64 between Angel Fire and Eagle Nest. These valleys are full of wildlife who are ready for their closeups; just make sure you have a zoom.

Look Good

Golfing and Mountain Biking in the Fall Colors

What makes your backswing or bike park moves even better?  Color!  So ,golfers, head to holes #6 and #10 for some golden backdrops, and mountain bikers, ride on down to “Time Square” where Fo’ sho’, Upper Supreme and Easy Street meet. The old growth aspen grove is stunning, and the leaves on the trails provide great contrast.  There’s also a wedding deck off of Boulder Dash and Easy Street with a great view; just don’t stop in the middle of a run.

Fall is an amazing time of year and an excellent opportunity for you to get some fall color photography for your social media accounts or scrapbooks. The winter snow isn’t too far off, but for right now, we hope you come out and join us as we watch our changing fall landscape.

If you captured the fall colors of northern New Mexico, please share them with us by tagging us on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtags #WeAreAngelFire

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