In the main role: Oak leaves!

29 11 2009

By now you should already know that I am attracted by tree leaves of all colours and shapes and I often take photos of them. One of my most favourite leaves are oak leaves. They have wonderful curved rounded shape and its back side is often brighter than back sides of other leaves. I spent previous weekend with my family on our cottage in near hills covered by woods and when I was looking for something interesting I found oak leaves in following interesting placements.

The first one was lit by nice autumn sun light and I was attracted by its texture as well as its shape.

1/200sec. @ 100mm, f/11, ISO 200

Then I noticed another oak leaf with very nice dark green moss only few steps from the leaf and I thought those two might make nice contrast together.

1/125 sec. @ 100mm, f/5.6, ISO 200

Here is the leaf as I found it surrounded by beech leaves and leafless blueberry bushes.

1/125 sec. @ 100mm, f/4.5, ISO 200, 2 stacked images for bigger depth of field

Subject for last photo was  a thin stem of young oak tree with few yet gripping dried leaves on its end. The background here is dried grass. I tried to capture the melancholic autumn atmosphere here.

1/250 sec. @ 100mm, f/5, ISO 100

Technical information: all photos were taken with Canon EOS 450D camera and Canon EF 100mm f/2,8 USM macro lens under natural conditions and hand held.

Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions for improvements, don’t hesitate to share them.

Enjoy the first frost where you have it!




16 responses

30 11 2009

the last one is quite nice, I would only change WB to shade or so…

30 11 2009
Tomas Turecek

Thanks for stopping by. Your suggestion would make it more yellow/warmer. May I ask why you would do it this way? I like it as it is, it seems warm enough to me.

30 11 2009

The beautiful works search!

30 11 2009
Tomas Turecek

Thank you for stopping by and leaving comment!

30 11 2009

Oak leaves are wonderful. I especially like the last image, with those marvelous curves and the blurred BG. I don’t hink it needs to be changed in any way.

I find the grass distracting in the other images, and the straight shadow across the first one.

1 12 2009
Tomas Turecek

Thanks, Anita. The last image is my favourite, too. To be honest, a slight vignette was applied to it.

Thanks also for pinpointing what distracts you in other images.

1 12 2009

Lovely group, and my favorite is the first one. It has wonderful clarity and contrast. Love the close macro effect particularly because it shows off the ribs on the back of the leaf so beautifully!

1 12 2009
Tomas Turecek

Thanks for stopping by, Dulcie, and leaving a comment! Exactly what you described is what attracted me to take the first photo. Unfortunatelly thos straight horizontal shadows spoils it a bit :/ As the shadows were cast by bare blueberry bushes I didn’t want to garden them.

1 12 2009

Tomas, I have different reactions to each of the four images. The first is nice but I find the shadows cutting across the leaves to be distracting. I really like the composition in the second image but the leaf looks too washed out and flat. The third is a bit busy but I like it. And the fourth is my favorite. Like the way the leaves and background complement each other. My only suggestion would be add a bit more dof – maybe f/8.

1 12 2009
Tomas Turecek

Ed, I really appreciate your comments with constructive critique and this is no exception. Even though I could only nod and accept all the critique, I must always react. The shadows in the first one were explained in my previous reactions and I was aware of this problem when I posted it. Maybe I could try to clone them out but am really not sure about the result. I really like the second one but now I know that shallow DOF does not work well in such shots. I must take my tripod next time. I felt that there is something in the third image that distracts me and you named it! Busyness it trully is. Thanks for this, Ed. And the fourth one is probably my favourite here. I tried higher f-stops as you suggest (I think that something around f/8) but then the background was more detailed and not so nicely blurred so I decided to go for lower f-stop. I also thougt that I could stack 2 images, one taken at higher f-stop for more details in leaves and this one for nicer background but finally I chose only this one to show.

3 12 2009
Barbara K

Leaf patterns are so interesting. I like the last image too, as the background is non distracting. I agree with Ed – stop down a stop and get a bit more in focus. A good experiment here would be to get a pile of leaves – on a ‘not so bright’ day, fluff them up, fill the frame with them and shoot some f/22 shots! That’s a frame full of pattern which always works. Of course, if you have wind like we had here in Texas today, your pile of leaves would be long gone!

Keep snappin!

3 12 2009
Tomas Turecek

Thanks for tip, Barbara. As winter is slowly approaching (very slowly this year) I am looking forward to shooting some frost. Fortunately, today we had excellent frosty morning due to thick fog and temperatures below 0 but unfortunately I have to sit in the office whole day 😦 So hopefully on weekend. Beautiful colours in leaves are almost gone so not much opportunities to play with them.

7 12 2009

I like the last one best as well. Unlike the others, I’d like to see this at a wider aperture and slightly closer. If you want to go for more detail, stacking a few images at F4 will give a better background than a single one at F8.

Enjoy the frost! Hope you got out this weekend…

7 12 2009
Tomas Turecek

Thanks for stopping by, Tom, and leaving a valuable comment! To be honest using stacking didn’t came to my mind in this case at all. I like how the subject blurs into the background but according to comments of other slightly more DOF would be better. Thank for this tip, I need to remember it for next time when I will think about all possibilities with a camera in front of my eye.

Re. the frost – unfortunately, temperatures are still several degrees above zero here so no frost 😦 Last weekend I spent visiting my family and moreover I had a terrible headache almost whole weekend so had neither time and mind to go out shooting 😦

8 12 2009
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[…] 2009 When I spent a weekend with my family in the mountains 2 weeks ago shooting oak leaves from previous post I was attracted by interesting bush, unknown to me, with very thin branches and tiny thin spear […]

6 01 2010
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[…] Dried Oak Leaves – I was looking for shooting autumn leaves for long time and this is one of results. I like Oak Leaves for their curvy shape and strong leaf veins. You can find more here. […]

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