It occurred to me after taking this photo, that if I had less experience with photography I never would have taken it. I wouldn’t have noticed that the bright, textured leaf wasn’t all there was to look at and capture. So I thought I’d share my process…
Even this time, I almost left it at admiring the color and the fact it was suspended before my eyes. But my artistic sense kicked me, and I suddenly noticed the leaf on my windshield was creating a shadow. There was a strange depth to this oddly suspended thing. And the background wasn’t clear, like the ideal glass surface in my mind, to my eye it was varied with haze from the dust on the window and reflections from inside the car and mixed with the branches and sky from which the leaf had fallen. I just had to notice what I was seeing, not what I thought the thing was.
My photographer’s eye – developed over time by practice and review of results – told me if clipped into a photograph’s frame, stopped in time, all of these background factors would make this leaf worth more than a passing glance.
I have, of course, provided spoilers now that take some of the interest away. Your eye and brain no longer have to grapple with what you’re seeing. I’ve shattered the mystique of what made this leaf image a little more than meets the eye.