Flat Macros

I turned over a new leaf…

I turned over a new leaf...

Warren, Connecticut. The shagbark hickory tree this leaf came from is growing in the woods down by the bank of the stream that cuts through our property. It is completely blocked out by larger trees for most of the season but now that many trees are leafless this tree is showing through. I was taking apple peelings out to the compost pile yesterday and this tree was all lit up like a Christmas tree. Had to go over and pluck a leaf to take back to my "leaf studio."

Annie’s Oak Leaf

Annie's Oak Leaf

Warren, Connecticut. Okay, I couldn’t resist the play on words (Annie Oakley). My wife is now getting with the program and bringing me leaves she’d like to see photographed. I initially complained that this oak leaf wasn’t big enough in any one place to shoot without showing the outer edges, but then I thought about how wonderful the natural shape of the leaf is and decided to try shooting it in a way that used that shape as a border. Fall colors have peaked when we start seeing more oak leaves like this on the ground. We can see deep into the woods now where leaves obscured the view during summer.

Birch Leaf with Water Droplets

Birch Leaf with Water Droplets

Warren, Connecticut. It’s raining hard today and I have errands in town. While running to the truck I noticed a birch leaf, bottom side up with water droplets on it on the driveway. On a nice day, I might feel the urge to set up the tripod right over this leaf and attempt a water droplet shot. Today the rain is coming down hard enough so I continued running to the truck and thought I’d probably drive over it. After I came back I was able to find it again and it was untouched. Rather than bring the tripod to it in the rain, I brought it into the house, being careful not to knock its droplets off, got it up to my office and took this shot.

Staghorn Sumac

Staghorn Sumac

Warren, Connecticut.There are many small volunteer sumac plants around our place and one really can’t see them blended in with the other foliage in the summer but in fall, they turn brilliant red. I’m allergic to poison sumac; nice that these plants are not only beautiful but also “hypoallergenic.”

Leaves in macro

maple leaf Near Stem

Warren, Connecticut. I found this maple leaf on a baby tree in the woods. Amazingly, the very small tree, only fifteen feet tall seems to be putting out full size leaves. Reminds me of a fourteen year old boy who hasn’t quite grown into his big feet and ears yet. This tree seems awkwardly out of scale with its leaves. I shot this leaf near its stem where it gathers down into a three dimensional bunch.

Swamp Maple with Spots

We have many swamp maple trees around here and from a distance all of their leaves look alike. Up close, however, there are distinct differences between them that makes them fascinating photographically. The spectacular colors and patterns found in a simple (well, not so simple) leaf continue to amaze me.

Dried Fern

Fern

Warren, Connecticut. Our ferns have been drying out and turning for a while now but today they seem to be at just the right state of translucency for the backlight of the sun to make them glow.

Note: I rented a Canon EF 180mm f/3.5 L Macro to test out. I’m liking it quite a lot actually although this shot is not a good example of what makes it shine: color and incredible bokeh coupled with great compression from the longer focal length.

Oak Leaf

Oak Leaf

Warren, Connecticut. Our oak trees haven’t turned yet but a few oak leaves are falling. When I look at them on the ground they are the most boring brown color but when I hold one up to the light an intricate inner world becomes illuminated. Here you can see the movement of the drying and dying process and it almost seems like the movement is happening as you watch, like time lapse images of changing fractals on a computer screen.

Eastern Cottonwood Leaf

Eastern Cottonwood Leaf

Warren, Connecticut. This leaf came from a large eastern cottonwood tree that fell out of the woods south of our garden and got caught in the power lines. It was large enough so it deflected the lines a good 10 feet and I was sure we’d have a disaster with it falling on a passing car and live power lines flailing around, not to mention we’d lose power, phone, cable. However, a crew came and cleaned it all up, leaving me some nice looking leaves I’d never really seen before.

Ash Leaf

Ash Leaf

Warren, Connecticut. Ash trees are having a rough time of it these days, there’s a blight that’s killing some of them off and we’ve lost two big ones to it in the past five years. However, the ones we have left are doing well and this leaf clearly shows the transition of a green leaf turning yellow from the outer edges in toward the veins.

Shagbark hickory leaf

Shagbark hickory leaf

Warren, Connecticut. We have a little "grove" of shagbark hickory trees near our house and when looking at the leaf-covered ground in fall it’s easy to pick out hickory leaves: they’re huge, with a serrated edge. There must be a reason the leaves are like this and why maples and oaks are like they are and someday I’d like to know more about that. For now, however, I’m content just to be able to pick them out and maybe, when I find a nice one, take a photograph of it.

Fruit and Vegetable Paper

Carrot Paper

Carrot Paper

Warren, Connecticut. I’ve been collecting handmade paper for many years now and recently I found some amazing paper made out of cross sections of thinly sliced vegetables and fruit. This is very thin and translucent paper with the consistency of parchment and I’m totally in love with the patterns and colors it makes when pressed in this form.

I hung it so as to back light it with natural light from a skylight although if I had a light table that would have worked too.

Carrot Paper

Carrot Paper Closeup

Kiwi Paper

Kiwi Paper

Kiwi Paper

Kiwi Paper Closeup

Orange Paper

Orange Paper

Orange Paper

Orange Paper