Some weeks, I get really into the 52 Frames challenge and this was one of those weeks.
The theme was “common object. I’m camping in a forest. Common object? Gotta be a leaf!
This was also one of those weeks where three things were true:
- My first concept was my only concept. I fell in love with my first idea and didn’t even try anything else.
- Small changes in an image can make a huge difference.
- Post-processing can be a lot of fun.
As I was talking on the phone to a friend, I noticed how the leaves were already changing color and falling from the trees overhead. After the call finished, I picked some leaves out and started playing with holding them up in the sunlight.
This is the leaf that started it all. A bit out of focus on the upper right of the leaf, though.
The green background felt too bright to me, but it had potential. The bokeh of the background worked, just not the color. And I definitely needed to focus on getting the whole leaf in focus.
I picked up a different leaf, one where the corner didn’t curl under and took a shot of that. The range of color in the leaf was better, and it was definitely more in focus. But that green…
In Lightroom post-processing, I removed the green on the original shot as a test. I did like the contrast but then I saw that upper corner was almost out of frame. Darn it.
One more time. I went back to my second shot and removed the green background. The knock-on effect was that the leaf colors faded out so I had to play around with vibrance and saturation to get them back to where I wanted them.
I probably shot 20 images of leaves, settled quickly on two different leaves, and then spent about an hour in post-processing.
Many thanks my 52 Frames small group on Facebook for both bearing with my current leaf obsession and providing excellent feedback on the images in process.
See more of my photography work.
View the 52 Frames Common Objects album.
A fallen leaf is nothing more than a summer’s wave goodbye.