Peach Trees Leaves

17 11 2009

We have several peach trees in our garden and two weeks ago on one warm sunny day I noticed that one peach tree has leaves with nice warm yellow colour while another one has leaves with dark red colour. I thought that these 2 colours would make a good contrast so I picked up couple handfuls of those yellow leaves and one red leaf. I dropped those yellow leaves on the ground and arranged them so no ground was visible. Then I tried to drop the red leaf several times on those yellows and looked for appealing composition. After some time I came up with something that I liked. When I processed the image in computer I liked the result but wanted the colours even more enhanced so I tried the Orton effect and really liked the warm glowing colours.  Here it is (see larger):


1/400 sec. @ 100 mm, f/4.5, ISO 100

I have posted this photo in 2 photo forums, on one I got several answers that the light is too harsh, on the second they liked the light 🙂 So I wonder what you will say. And for your information, there’s nothing over exposed according to histogram 😉 Just today I’ve noticed that the top half of the image is significantly heavier than the lower part but the composition does not work when it is upside down. What do you think?

When I had a couple of images that pleased me I squated to look closely on the leaves and I was attracted by their jagged rims. I took another couple of shots and was quite surprised by the results.


~ Dragon Wing ~
1/640 sec. @ 100 mm, f/2.8, ISO 100

What you see is about 2/3 of original image. I know that it is too tight in the lower left corner but it’s the best I could come up with. It’s another addition to my Floral Curves Series (very slowly growing) and as I’m big fan of fantasy the first thing that appeared on my mind when I saw the image was “wow, it looks like a dragon wing” 🙂

Technical information: both images were shot with Canon EOS 450D and Canon EF 100mm f/2,8 USM macro lens under natural conditions, hand held.

I hope you like the images,
enjoy the autumn/fall colours and light!




8 responses

19 11 2009

First off, I really like the second image – the leaf edge. Very sharp. Nice corner to corner diagonal. Beautiful color. Love the tone on tone. Super job.

The first image I am less sure of. The reddest leaf is too shadowed. And the leaves at the top look blurry and on the hot side. SO I guess I would fall into the harsh light camp on that one. As I look at it, I think that if the two yellow and orange leaves on top of the red were removed, the comp would be stronger.

20 11 2009
Tomas Turecek

Thanks Ed. Even though I was quite happy with the first photo, responses by other photographers, and yours as well, tells me that I shouldn’t be. I think that the Orton method created also higher contrast in the image and thus made bright areas even brighter and dark even darker. Your suggestion about moving those 3 upmost leaves out would really work! Now I see that my composition was a bit busy with so many leaves. Thanks for poiting it out.

19 11 2009

I like the second image a lot! Simple, lovely color, strong diagonal. Nice macro.

The first image has lovely colors and shapes, but the light is too harsh for me. Perhaps taken in the shade or with a diffuser you would have gotten more even lighting. i think with a photo like this, the lighting needs to be more even, without the dark shadows and very light areas.

20 11 2009
Tomas Turecek

Thanks Anita. You’re right about the lightning on the first image. When I was taking the photo the light didn’t seem to be so harsh and as I explained in reply to Ed’s response I think that the Orton method played here it’s role as well. I’m a novice in photographing leaves so I’m still learning. I’ll bear your suggestions in my mind next time when bending over some leaves pile 😉

20 11 2009
Barbara K

The Orton technique will always work best when you have more ‘even’ lighting; otherwise you get ‘black holes’ which are blocked up shadow areas. I’ve done it when the lighting is creating dark shadows, but have gone back and brightened those dark areas up with Viveza. The soft effect that you achieve with that technique is dreamy and it does cover up a lot of ‘roughness’ in the landscape.

So, if you can find some leaves on a cloudy day, try the technique again.

Your leaf macro is exquisite – great detail and sharpness throughout the critical edge and nice background!

20 11 2009
Tomas Turecek

Thanks Barbara. I’ve explained a bit about light on the first image in my replies to Anita’s and Ed’s responses. I didn’t know that this technique is best to be used together with even lightning so thanks for sharing this! Here I liked how the leaves were almost glowing while sun shined thru them and this could be hardly achieved during cloudy day. This is a hard nut for me!

21 11 2009
Barbara K

A very contrasty image with result in lighter whites and darker shadows. Perhaps your light was just from overhead and not side lighting. However, a much more ‘even’ scene will produce better results.

6 01 2010
First year of photography « Close Nature

[…] Dragon Wing (Floral Curves Series) – This may be hard to distinguish but it is a rim of leaf from peach tree. I was attracted by the small “claws” on the edge and by the colours. It was originally posted here. […]

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