Photography Project: Techniques for Fall Leaves


This week I decided to take one subject, and apply different techniques.  This involved having Peter wait patiently in a parking lot as I dug through fallen leaves to find the perfect assortment of colors and shapes.  Then I had to carefully protect them on the drive home.  And much to Peter’s chagrin, I confiscated a key baking dish (much needed for the holiday cooking) to create my ice picture.  I am happy to report, that Peter still likes me (if not my projects).

Technique:  Texturing

The cover image is an example of texturing.  I recently downloaded two new texture packs from Flypaper Textures.  I’ve tried many different packs from a variety of places, but these are my favorites.  The site also gives you “recipes” if you are at a loss or struggling with an image.  I thought texturing would add something interesting to this single leaf.  Here is the before picture.  To learn more, you can read my post on Tips for Texturing Photographs on the Digital Photography blog.


Technique:  Creating an ice image

I tried this technique last year during my Project 52 adventure.  It involves freezing layers of distilled water and adding your subject before the last layer so it is close to the top.  The effect is meant to replicate things that get frozen in ice during the winter, so I choose a likely subject.  To learn more see my post Photographing Through Ice.


Technique:  Use a macro lens to create an abstract

For this technique you will need a macro lens and tripod.  Try to shoot directly down on the subject to get detail throughout the image.


Technique:  Use the leaf pattern as its own texture overlay

This was a new technique for me.  The most challenging part was to find a good subject to overlay the leaf on top of.  I must have tried 10 different images before landing on this one. For me, the leaf on top of the dead tree symbolized the contradiction of a tree with no leaves of its own.

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Technique:  Creating a high key image

This was another technique I learned during my Project 52 endeavor.  It involved placing the leaves on a lightbox, taking multiple images and increasing the exposure each time until everything was blown out, and then combining them in Photoshop and brushing in only the highlights and midtones. The image below consists of 11 different images.  For more information here is the link to my post Photographing Flowers Using High Key.


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