Painterly Palette of Fall Colors at Artist Bluff

It has been several years since I visited New Hampshire’s White Mountains to take in the magic of New England’s fall foliage season. This seemed like the perfect year with the COVID-19 restrictions limiting bus tours and international tourists. Of course, there were still plenty of locals who had the same idea and many city dwellers hiding out in the country or doing weekend getaways. Still, the mid-week scene was relatively quiet and enjoyable.

But, the coronavirus wasn’t the only issue to contend with this year. The 2020 drought accelerated the turning of the leaves nearly two weeks earlier than usual. I felt like I was chasing the colors for most of my visit to the White Mountains.

The hike up to Artist Bluff in the White Mountains is very steep, normally not my gig, but it was definitely worth it. While some of the color had passed, Echo Lake was nice and still and the clouds were giving a great mood over the Franconia Notch and the ski slopes of Cannon Mountain. 

I made the climb just before sunset and stayed for about an hour trying out different compositions. This is a blend of stacked images taken to keep the foreground rocks and girl as sharp as possible (it was windy up there!) with a long exposure to smooth Echo Lake and the clouds over the mountain tops. (Click the image and see ‘photo details’ for more.)

This is a relatively well-known location, but I wanted to give a shoutout to David Long for his detail in finding the best photo spots in the area. Check out his excellent e-books on New England fall foliage.

Prints, digital downloads, licensing and keepsakes of this photograph are available at

Matt Conti Written by:

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