How to Submit Photos and Reports

Bigleaf Maple, Spanish Creek (10/14/17) Michael Beatley

Over 75 volunteer “color spotters” (our term for contributors) submit photographs and reports to CaliforniaFallColor.com in a typical autumn.

To be one of them is easy. Email photos within a few days of when taken* to editor@californiafallcolor.com. Always include the photographer’s name, date the photo was taken and the location where the photo was taken.

Each Thursday, I send comprehensive reports of fall color and a collection of the Best of the Week photographs to over 500 media across California. To assure that your submissions are eligible to be included in these reports, I need your photographs and reports not later than Wednesday night.

Photos should be high resolution**, particularly if you’d like them considered as one of CaliforniaFallColor.com’s Best of the Week. Each week from the first day of autumn until the Thursday preceding Thanksgiving Day, the week’s best photos are (with photographer’s permission) sent to major broadcast and print media; they won’t accept any photo less than 300 dpi in size.

Please note: We are unable to compensate photographers for use of their images, but always credit the photographer for his/her work. Publication of photographs on CaliforniaFallColor.com has benefitted many contributors who have had their photographs republished, leading to broader recognition/exposure, enhanced resumes/reputation, paid compensation from others and/or retail sales, not to mention bragging rights.

Reports should include: % of color change for the location being reported (e.g., North Lake, Bishop Creek Canyon) – not for a specific tree or shrub (expressed as: Just Starting, 0-10%; Patchy, 10-50%; Near Peak, 50-75%; Peak, 75-100%;  or Past Peak), the name of the location, roads (e.g., take Rock Creek Rd. east from US 395), date visited and any helpful information (e.g., “The trail is steep for the first 500′. but then levels out for the two mile hike to the lake. A grove of peaking aspen is found at the western side the lake trail.”).

If you know the foliage seen in the photo (particularly if it is unusual or wouldn’t be evident to us), please describe it (e.g., aspen, bigleaf maple, black oak, silver willow, etc.).

We will make every effort to publish your report, particularly if it is from an unusual or lightly reported destination. When multiple photographs are received from heavily visited locations, we are able only to publish the first received, the best or the most unusual.

Occasionally, we will post a portfolio of historic photos*, but often only on Friday or when fresh images have not been received. Photos may be cropped or adjusted for best presentation.

CaliforniaFallColor.com’s style is vivid and photojournalistic. Images that tell a story or that show human activity in relation to autumn are best.

Reports and photos can also be posted on CaliforniaFallColor’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Though, emailing photos and reports to editor@californiafallcolor.com is the best way to get them on this site, and the only way to get them considered as one of the Best of the Week.

Thank you and happy wandering!

* The sooner a photograph and report are sent to us, the more likely it will be published, because it shows what is likely to be seen now at the location. Photographs taken more than a week ago aren’t really useful and cannot be included in Best of the Week collections sent to media. Historic photos, like Michael Beatley’s shot of Spanish Creek (seen above), are published – on occasion – days or even years after they were taken, but only to illustrate an article that is not time-sensitive.

**A high resolution photo is one that is 300 dpi (dots per inch). A photograph of 1 megabyte or larger is usually large enough to be considered to be high resolution. Please don’t hesitate sending a photograph just because it isn’t 300 dpi. Pictures taken with mobile devices often get included in our reports, when the device has been set to shoot a large picture. 72 dpi images (set for websites and devices) are too small for reproduction in print media.

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