Nothing is more brilliant than a Maple Leaf in fall. While on a walk with my daughter, she picked up a maple leaf from the ground and said excitedly, “Look, it glows!” I made up some stuff about chemical reactions and threw in some fancy words like enzymes, luciferin, and bioluminescence just to make it sound authentic ’cause that’s what fathers do. It probably has more to do with the sun lighting it up from the back, but nevertheless it was spectacular.
So this got me thinking, why not recreate the look in the comfort of the studio. So I gave my girls a task, to collect some nice “glowing” leaves.
We collected a wider variety of leaves of various hues and brought them into the studio. The set up was quite simple: The leaf itself was suspended from a light track and a reflector holder using a clamp a clamp. I set up a strobe on the floor behind and pointing up toward the leaf and left that as the main light. I placed a black disk directly under the leave to block the light from the strobe from hitting the lens. Lastly, I used a black background so the colours of the leaf would really pop.
Here are some of the resulting images. The last two images are ones of the original leaf my daughter first noticed.
While I usually like to photograph nature in its natural setting, taking pictures in the studio allows for complete control over the lighting, the background, and creates a much more artistic image than what nature offered.
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