Ahhhh, fall. The fresh, crisp air, the cooler temps and — oh yes — those colorful leaves. Many of us love to get out and photograph the fall leaves in all their landscape glory but how about taking some time to get up close and personal with those leaves and color?
This is part one of ideas to bring us closer to that fall feeling.
What? Yes, I know, it’s prime time to get out with the camera and crunch some of those leaves under your hiking boots but, sometimes that’s not an option. So, what do you do? Head out your back door, grab a few leaves from your yard and bring them inside.
I set up a small lightbox and used my Platypod to place my camera and Canon 100mm Macro lens at the edge of the box. It’s much less cumbersome than my tripod and it allows me to get closer and inside the box.
Setting up your shots
Use the other leaves to place on or behind the leaf you are photographing to create a contrasting background and make it more natural.
Live view is a huge help when focusing on macro images in order to make sure you have in focus the area of the leaf you want to highlight.
Use a mirror. Reflections don’t have to just happen in ponds. Can’t get the leaf to sit the way you want it? Use a clothespin to hold it in place.
Get creative. I like to use corn syrup to create ‘water drops,’ as it’s much more viscous and stays in place when you want to move the leaf around for other compositions. It also lasts longer. Using a toothpick, I roll it in the corn syrup and tap the toothpick on the surface where I want the drop and let the corn syrup run down the toothpick. Voila! A water drop.
Fall is also about textures. Dying leaves are perfect for this. They may not be as colorful and pretty but they can be very interesting to photograph.
So, even if you aren’t able to get outside to your local park, forest preserves or down by the river, you can still create amazing images of the fall leaves.