New England Fall Foliage » Foliage Articles » Towering white steeple into fall colors

Life is what happens while you are making other plans!

(unknown author)

In this case I was making plans to write this article that will explore white church steeples set against fall colors and then my desktop computer died! Don’t worry I have my laptop to write this but most of my images are difficult to access. They are backed up to the cloud and I may have to download a few to finish this. 🙁

Scouting fall foliage locations

I was out searching for fall foliage on the 2nd of February… Yes you heard me right. Lisa and I went looking for locations, that in this coming autumn will have the right composition. of focal subject surrounded by autumn colors.

Towering steeples, Lake Quannapowitt, Wakefield MA.

I have a friend (Steve) who used to live in Wakefield and he would tell me about the lake down there. Since we were in that area we took a route through Wakefield, down Main st. and over Church st. to Route 28. There was a stately church on, what else? Church street and there were many trees on the property in front of it and no visible power lines but no backdrop of color… So this is a good maybe to try this coming mid-October

My requirements for steeples & fall foliage shots

Stowe Vermont white steeple against a hillside of autumn color

Fall foliage location Stowe Vermont White steeple against fall color on 27 Sept (still a bit early)

It’s quite simple, I’m looking for a white spire (of some type, more on this later) and a lack of power lines running through the scene. Sometimes I can change my position and leave out the cables. Sometimes I just give up on the image as being unusable for my purpose.

If there is but one or two power lines and I can easily remove them in post, then I will do so in the name of art. I’m not a photojournalist that has to leave it the way I found it. I’m a artist and with Photoshop I can create an “artistic” product, more in keeping with what I want to see versus what was actually there.

As you can see here in Stowe Vermont is what I would call the Holy Grail of white church steeple shots. I’ll be telling you how to get this shot in a future article… It’s not hard but you have to know where to stand.. And the when? As you can see this shot is nice but not perfect… Thoughts?

Towering white steeples

Fall color surrounds Saint Mathew's church in Sugar Hill NH.

Fall color surrounds Saint Mathew’s church in Sugar Hill NH.


Why do we have steeples in the first place? This would require a long conversation on religion and I’m not here for that. What I will say is that their design is to draw your eyes upward to the heavens and if you click in this statement you can read more.

It all comes down to design. 

I also read that if a church was smaller and more “squat” like St Matthew’s in Sugar Hill New Hampshire it would be more graceful if it had a tall steeple. St Matthew’s church wouldn’t hold a large congregation and if it had a normal roof line your eye would pass it by. According to my reading, designers felt that a church was more graceful if it was taller. St Mathew’s certainly fulfills this idea.

If you go to St Matthew’s, you will see a couple power lines. Remember what I said in paragraph 4, if I can take them out with relative ease (according to my Photoshop skill level) then I will do so.

As you can see in this image, the church has a very tall steeple in relation to the overall size of the church, at least from the front.


So as you can see I have my requirements for church steeples but what are yours? What are you looking for when you create a fall foliage image with a white church steeple?

Have a great fall foliage day!


Jeff "Foliage" Folger  You can purchase images by visiting my Fine Art Gallery websites
Subscribe to my Newsletter - If you would like to sign up for my Fine Art America Newsletter (click this link and a window will open allowing you to sign up). Why sign up for the newsletter? Contests, discount codes on my artwork, maybe an excerpt from my book "Exploring the back roads of New England with Jeff Foliage"... Yes you heard me right... (Damn now I have to start writing it!)
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Jeff Foliage

My name is Jeff Folger,
but people call me Jeff Foliage.
I have several pages that I write blogs for such as:
My most popular blog is for Leaf peepers: Jeff
I live in Salem, Massachusetts and work as a blogger and Travel Photographer. I'm also the founder of the New England Photography Guild.
Feel free to visit me on my blogs and see what life in New England is like.

I started with Yankee Magazine as their first blogger on everything fall foliage. Now I blog on my own blog on my favorite subject, telling leaf peepers where the fall foliage is showing up in New England and helping them (to some extent) plan their fall foliage vacations.
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