Photographer shares secret behind vibrant colors in viral drone video

Drone footage captured in the Ogden Valley by Utahn Justin McFarland show dramatic, beautiful fall colors. (Video via CBS)

(KUTV) — It’s drone video that’s been seen millions of times online of beautiful Ogden Valley.

It was a scene so perfect, photographer Justin McFarland had to shoot it.

“I wanted to be first early on the fall color thing” McFarland said.

He piloted his drone last Saturday and remembers thinking, “Oh man, this is going to be good.”

Some say it looks so good that it’s too good to be true.

“The naysayers, I appreciate them, I sort of welcome it” McFarland said.

So, are all those colors, the purples and pinks real?

“It’s real, yeah,” McFarland said.

The secret behind his colorful masterpiece is the use of a polarized filter on his drone camera.

He says he never set out to trick anyone, but says the filter helps make the shot more crisp in the daylight.

“There’s that skepticism, 'Did this guy just turn up the notch on the saturation?' It’s enhanced, I enhance all my videos but I don’t want it to look fake," he said.

To prove it, McFarland provided 2News with the raw and edited footage.

“You can see that the purples — everybody has been mentioning the purples — are in that original shot” McFarland said.

So, mystery solved. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth millions of views.

McFarland says he has another fall color shoot he’s working on now. He says it was shot in Logan, and he expects to post it sometime next week.

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