Oct 30, 2010

Trying to Catch an Image of a Falling Leaf

I had this idea yesterday that I would run outside and take a few pictures of falling leaves. In my vision of the planned activity, I would just set up the camera, look for a leaf, and POOF! Instant image.

Reality, however, was a long distance from my simplistic plan.

For starters, leaves are in constant motions, and the first few images I took were quite blurry. After fooling with the shutter speed for a bit, I came to the conclusion that it would be virtually impossible to try and predict the sudden twists and turns a leaf might take, and that an automatic setting was just as good as trying to plan this shot. I wanted top contrast the bright blue sky with a red, yellow, or brown leaf as it wafted to the ground. Easy enough, right?

I snapped dozens of pictures, achieving clarity on some half-leaves while winding up with muddled, out-of-focus images of many other leaves. Finally, on what might have been my 50th image, I was rewarded with an image that, well, did not quite suck.

I did not get all of the stem on this one, but it satisfied my desire to capture the image of a falling leaf. After I finished, my neighbor said I should have just taken a picture of a leaf still attached to a tree and then cropped it.

I would have called him a wiseguy, but his method would have achieved the same effect in 1/10 of the time, and truth be told: it is more fun to simply watch falling leaves than to get irritated trying to preserve such images for posterity.


SensorG said...

Since you didn't get all of the stem anyway, wouldn't it have been easier to just hold up a leaf to the blue sky by the end of the stem?

Poof - "falling leaf" :)

microdot said...


historymike said...

Nah, not true PhotoShoopery, Microdot, though I did use GIMP 2.6 to enhance the color saturation and contrast.

microdot said...

I didn't mean to level an accusation, but offer a suggestion as to what I would have done...
I'm sitting in a room here in France, it's all photoshopped, none of this is real...it's great!

carl said...

I would probably have airbrushed the top of the stem long before 50 tries. But I guess that would have been cheating.