Small Leaf On Rain Dropped Leaf Background

This is a 2 image stacked photo, shot at f/4. It was a windy day, so I did not want to use a small f/stop because the leaves were blowing back & forth. It does not show here, but there was quite a bit of distance between the two main leaf subjects. So with the wind moving the leaves, I did not want a slower shutter speed that would show movement. I shot wide open at f/4 to minimize movement and focused the 2 shots for each main subject. Combined in Photoshop for the final image. I cropped the bottom leaf because there was too much open space in the bottom right corner.

 

Some Fall Leaf Still Life Images

Here are a few more Fall Leaf Still Life photos. These are how I found them, the way they fell naturally. I like looking for interesting leaf compositions, seeing different colors, textures and shapes and how they work with each other. I know we are now in Winter, but did not get a chance to post them before. All were shot with a Canon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS lens. Not the sharpest lens, but can focus fairly close-up and is 28% shorter than a normal 70-300mm lens. This was the 2nd DO lens from Canon. With the right post processing you can pull out quite a bit of detail.

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Backlite Leaves

When I am walking through gardens, parks or woods, I Look for interesting subjects or textures to photograph. Sometimes I use them for the main image or backgrounds or textures for my ebooks to place images or text floating on top, giving a more visual look to the page. Here I was looking for interesting leaves & textures. Interesting skies and clouds also work well for this.

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The above sunflower on the path is not backlie, but still an interesting background for floating images or a text block on the left side.

Wet Fall Leaves

The Fall Leaves are almost all down now and are looking dull and dried out. Saw these in the water and thought they looked interesting.

Leaf above Ice

Going over files from last year and found this one. When the weather starts getting colder, I like looking for interesting ice patterns in streams or along lakes and hopefully with an item in the composition for a focal point.  I found this leaf stuck in a small twig above this ice formation. I liked the early morning low sun backlighting the leaf, adding warmth, highlighting textures & patterns in the ice. Photographed with a Canon Eos 1D MkIII with a Canon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM @ 300mm, 1/100 @ f/8, ISO 400. I also used High Pass Sharpening in Photoshop to help bring out details & textures in the ice and leaf.

Colors of Fall

Fall is moving on, getting colder every day. Most of the leaves are starting to become dull, but the Maple tree in the yard takes a while for the leaves to change color & really come down. This is a sign that Fall Color will be ending soon. Here is a series of colorful Maple leaf images when the Maple leaves started to come down in quantity with bright yellow colors. Starting with a wide view moving to a closer up composition. This helps visually to show the story of the Maple leaves in different views and compositions. Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS, 1/125 sec @ f/11,  ISO 320.

Opening Photo @ 24mm , 1/125 sec, f/11, ISO 125  – effective focal length with 1.3 crop camera body is 31.2mm

105mm, 1/100 sec, f/11, ISO 320  – effective focal length with 1.3 crop camera body is 136.5 mm

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~75mm, 1/125 sec, f/11, ISO 320  – effective focal length with 1.3 crop camera body is 110.5 mm leaves_43G7837 v2

55mm, 1/125 sec, f/11, ISO 320  – effective focal length with 1.3 crop camera body is 71.5 mm leaves_43G7821 v2

Walk in the Woods

I took a leisurely walk around the Celery Farm Natural Area in Allendale, NJ on Sunday looking for Fall Still Life images. I found a few I liked and also a few general interest Fall images as I was walking along the path. Here are some of what I found. I used my 1D MkIV with the Canon 70-300mm DO lens for the longer zoom range which comes in handy for a wider range of images, especially if you do not know what you will come across while on your walk. It also works well with extension tubes for closeup images when you come across them. The 70-300mm DO makes a great walk around lens especially with the Image Stabilization. I usually carry a 12mm & 20mm extension tubes with me, along with 12″ silver/gold collapsable reflector & 12″ diffuser for either reflecting light into a subject or for diffusing harsh sunlight.

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Fall Color – Metasequoia

This is one of my favorite trees on my property- the Metasequoia (Dawn Redwood). This is one of three species of Conifers known as Redwoods. Even though it is the smallest it can grow to 200 ft tall and up to 6 feet wide at the base. They are originally from China. In the fall, the leaves go from a green to an orange brown. But the fruit, a  Four-sided, box-like cone that hangs on long stalks are, round to cylindrical in shape, 1/2 to 1 inch long and start out as a solid green cone.. They mature in in the Summer and go to a  Brown color and open up with a spiral pattern. Then in the fall they change to Green in color. So they are like a reverse color scheme from Summertime going back to Green, but are open with the spiral. They are fun to photograph because of the colors and the depth of the cone. The Cones are a great challenge for a macro photo, a great subject for image stacking because of cylindrical spiral open rows. The trunk also has great texture and colors.

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Colors of Fall Starting to Fade

 

Here in the Northeast the Fall colors are beginning to fade. I met my friend at the Celery Farm Natural Area in Allendale NJ one morning to see what we could find before the Fall colors turned into brown, dried out leaves. I thought we had a good chance to find bright subjects that would stand out against the fading or subdued foliage. I decided to travel light, taking my Canon 70-300mm DO lens on a EOS 1D MkIV body which gave me a good focal length range in a small, lightweight package. I also used a Canon Flash set at -1 stop just to help fill in my subjects in the early morning light and helped me shoot handheld instead of using a tripod. The Canon 70-300mm DO has a poor reputation because of its Diffraction Optics, but it is one of my favorite lenses. It is about an inch shorter , but wider than a normal 70-300mm lens. It also has Image Stabilization, but I believe it takes a second for it to kick in, so I take this into account also. Shooting Raw files and adjusting them in Adobe Camera Raw makes this lens shine and a winner. Getting back to photographing, I tried different crops, shooting angles, and combining bright or vibrant subjects with darker subjects or backgrounds. I was also trying to place my subjects on a pleasing softer backdrop, so I used an f/ stop of f/7.1 or f/8 to keep the backgrounds simpler. Hope you enjoy them.

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First Frost Here in Northern NJ

We finally got a First Frost here in Northern New Jersey. It was not a heavy frost and seemed to be late in coming. Usually we get first frost much earlier here in October. Being it was much later in the month, the leaves were really dried out and duller. The minute the sun hit the leaves the frost melted so I had to work in the shaded areas. I used my Canon MkIV with the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 OS macro. Because it was early in the morning and in the shade I raised my ISO to 1250 at f/5.6 which usually would give me a shutter speed of about 1/60 sec. I also tried to shoot straight down or as little  of an angle as possible to get greater depth of field since I was at f/5.6. Hope you enjoy them.

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