The photograph is real but the colors have been enhanced.
In October 2022, a Facebook page called Live in America shared a striking autumnal picture depicting bright red leaves surrounding a placid lake, along with the caption, "Willoughby Lake In Vermont!!!"
Here is a screenshot of the popular Oct. 4, 2022, post, which has been "liked" and shared by hundreds of thousands of people:
The beauty of the picture prompted some readers to ask if it was real. The short answer is, yes, the photograph is real, but the colors have been digitally enhanced. We tracked down the photographer who created the original, Brian Johns, who told us how he made the picture.
Johns posted it to his travel photography Instagram page on Oct. 3, 2022, along with a caption noting that he enhanced the color saturation:
Johns told Snopes in a phone interview that he used the image-editing tool Adobe Lightroom to make the colors brighter. He also used a drone to get the aerial perspective of Lake Willoughby, which is in northern Vermont. Johns said he took the photograph last year around the same time, but only recently published it on his Instagram account.
Johns said he's planning to upload more of his work from Lake Willoughby to his YouTube channel in the near future.
"I've been doing travel photography for a long time, all over the United States, and the New England fall photography is by far my favorite, " Johns said. "There is nothing that compares to it at all."