Photo of the Week – November 11, 2011

Sometimes the simplest things make the best photos.  The below photo was taken right outside my back door, and is just two fallen sycamore leaves overlapping each other.

When photographing leaf patterns, I often have a hard time finding a composition that captures what really draws me to a certain leaf or group of leaves.  Often, I have to pause for a moment and define what it is about a particular scene that’s actually appealing.  Is it the color or pattern of one particular leaf or the juxtaposition of multiple leaves together?   That helps me decide what the appropriate scale is for the photograph.  Many times, I end up getting closer and shooting a smaller scene – to scale down to the real essence of the subject.  Other times, I back up and either try to capture the way several objects interact visually with each other, or the way a subject is set off against its surroundings.  (I also abandon a lot of potential shots because I just can’t find a way to make them work.)

With this photo, I decided that what I really liked about these two leaves was the shape of the line that separated them.  When I tried to compose a photo showing both leaves in their entirety, the power of that line was diminished, but when I got closer, the line dominated the photo – and that’s what I wanted.

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About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is an ecologist and Eastern Nebraska Program Director for The Nature Conservancy. He supervises the management and restoration of approximately 4,000 acres of land in central and eastern Nebraska - primarily along the central Platte River. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press.
This entry was posted in General, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Photo of the Week – November 11, 2011

  1. James McGee says:

    What amazes me is the veins. I always thought the veins in leaves slowly decreased to an end point. This is obviously not the case. The small veins reconnect allowing circulation much like the flow of blood in our own bodies.

  2. What I like is the shape that is formed by the spine of the right or bottom leaf and the scalloped edge of the top, it is a biomorphic shape and is very beautiful.
    Ernie

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