I have had the good fortune of being able to photograph fall color all over the United States. From California to Maine, I've visited many, many locations over the years, and have loved them all for different reasons, but the Southern Appalachian Mountains are my favorite place of all for autumn.
The Appalachians are home to 158 different species of tree, more than anywhere else in North America. There are two main types of forest; deciduous oak forest at low elevations (between 250m and 1350m), and coniferous spruce-fir forest above that. because of that amazing bio diversty the Appalachians are unparalleled in beauty and color. The higher elevations turn first and then fall slowly creeps down the mountains giving us photographers weeks of great photography in the autumn.
This autumn, starting in late September, I spent five weeks photographing fall color in a variety of locations including the Monongahela National Forest, Canaan Valley, Blackwater Falls State Park and Dolly Sods in West Virginia, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, The Blue Ridge Parkway, Cherokee National Forest and Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina and the Jefferson National Forest, Mount Rogers/Grayson Highlands and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. I had every conceivable type of weather from bright sunny days to fog and rain to violent thunderstorms. I spent everyday in the field hiking, scouting, climbing down deep ravines, crossing rocky summits and driving countless miles in search of these photographs.
This fall has launched a project for me to photograph the Appalachians from North to South in all seasons for a coffee table book project that will most likely take a couple years to complete. I hope you enjoy these images and they inspire you to go out and experience the beauty of the Appalachians.