I enjoy looking at the random, abstract patterns of fallen leaves that carpet the ground, and have seen some fantastic photos taken of this very thing. It occurred to me that it might be rather fun to make purposeful arrangements of leaves under more controlled lighting and background conditions. So, a couple of weeks ago when I went on my most recent neighborhood fall color shoot, I took the time to collect some leaves from the wide variety of deciduous trees that were busy shedding them in preparation for winter. I have to say that I found this to be as useful as it was enjoyable to do - it made me think about composition and design, since I was now in complete control of that. I used a light neutral grey piece of cloth as the backdrop for the portraits, as I'm calling them, with indirect afternoon light. I also gave thought to how the final image would be cropped during post-processing in Elements. Just like doing a quick sketch of something, I didn't want to spend too much time deciding on the "perfect" crop; I went with a quick, intuitive approach, being mindful of how the negative space affects the composition. This project has also provided me with some reference material for a possible series of paintings.
I took about 40 photos total; here is a small sampling:
Three Norway maples and an unidentified species form a study in yellow
Red maple leaves in a variety of shapes, sizes and species
Oak Leaf Quartet
Three different species of maple are represented here
All in the Family
Different sizes, colors and shapes from the same species of maple
A variety of shapes, sizes and colors represented here. The very large leaf in the back (8" wide) is from a London Planetree - a pollution-tolerant hybrid of the sycamore family.