Leaf decomposition + Repost

I think that the decomposition during the autumn gives many possibilities for interesting images. This leaf caught my eye, with its combination of very fine details/patterns and larger fields of different colors. I have softened the fine details somewhat, to more emphasize the larger patterns.

Does this work as an interesting image, or is it just a partly decomposed leaf?
How to best balance between the very fine details and the larger patterns? Should the fine structure of the leaf be more emphasized, or should the image be more softened?
Any other post-processing approaches to improve the image?


1 Like

Ola, sorry I am a bit late commenting on this image. I actually like the patterns in the leaf. It reminds me of patterns in cloth (like maybe a blouse or something). It really needs to be viewed in large size to appreciate the details, colors and patterns in this leaf. It looks fine the way you presented it to me, so not sure how you could better balance between the fine details and the larger patterns, unless it was in B&W, that might reveal a deferent outcome, such as tones and textures that might bring out the fine structure. I would have probably passed by this leaf without even noticing, so I think you did great seeing art here, and going for it.

Ola, the patterns in the leaf stand out very well here. It’s special that you saw this and made a photo. I’m a detail nut, so I think that getting a bit more definition in the vein structure would be good. I also find myself wondering how more separation between the leaf and the background would look. Dodging the darker parts of the leaf might help with that…

@Shirley_Freeman and @Mark_Seaver, thanks for your nice comments and advice. Mark, I tried to follow your instructions ending up with the image below. Indeed, better than the first one.

Ola, I like your repost (I added to your title) of this image. @Mark_Seaver had some good ideas, and you applied them nicely. Well done!

Ola, this does a much better job of showing off the leaf and all of it’s fascinating structures.

Your re-post is excellent Ola. I love the detail you’ve captured and you did a nice job separating the leaf from the background. Well done!

I agree–your edits on your repost have worked out quite well. There was not a lot of separation between subject and BG in the original. One way of achieving this same effect out in the field is to use some weak, soft fill flash on the leaf. Good work on the edits…Jim

Ola, I love the patterns here. This reminds me of another leaf photo I saw recently, and the indication that the ring patterns (not nearly as colorful as yours, but similar in style) were the result of a fungus. I wonder if that’s the case here.

In any case, my instinct would be to actually compose/crop closer, inside the edges of the leaf in order to emphasize the patterns even more. I see the leaf border and background (which isn’t entirely clean) as a distraction, so I wonder if this would be most effective as a tighter, slightly abstract photo.


@Shirley_Freeman, @Mark_Seaver, @Steve_Kennedy , @Jim_Zablotny and @Max_Waugh thank you for your kind comments on my repost. Jim, a very good suggestion. I have not yet started to use flash outdoors, but it is on my list of what to explore during 2021. Max, I tried to crop to get a more abstract image, but I personally find it hard to fit a rectangle within the shape of the leave and at the same time end up with an interesting pattern. Including a part of an edge made it easier, but I didn´t come up with something to post!