dried leaves by richard seah
A picture of leaves can look quite stunning and artistic, as the above photograph of dried, dead leaves shows.
This is an example of high-key photography, where almost the entire picture is white and bright. As you may have noticed, a lot of my photographs are low-key, meaning the overall appearance of the picture is dark and black.
Somehow, I have a preference for low-key photography, but when I took the above picture of leaves, I knew it had to be high-key,
The original photograph was already more or less white – the background wall was light grey – so all that was needed was a bit of Photoshop adjustment to brighten the background further.
It might not have worked if I purposely over-expose the picture of leaves while taking it, because then the dried, dead leaves would have appeared washed-out. In fact, I had made another minor Photoshop adjustment to increase the color saturation just slightly.
This picture of leaves was taken during a Photography walkabout in the back alleys of Little India, Singapore.
I spotted this bunch of dried, dead leaves "growing" (that had previously grown) of out a wall crack.The image looked very ordinary but I thought it had potential. In my mind, the picture of leaves had already formed and I knew, from the start, that it would have to be a high key photograph.
I took just two pictures, both of which came out very similar and I had a hard time deciding which to use. To be frank, I have forgotten why I chose this version of the picture of leaves, rather than the other.
A bit about my Little India walkabout…
I very seldom go walking around with a camera purely for the sake of taking pictures. I do enjoy it and this is something that I like to do more. However, my work schedule – and the cost of photography, as I still use slides (but, in this case, film) – does not permit me to do this too often.
Anyway, one unday morning in October 2004, I decided to take my camera out for a walk.
It took me a while to recall why I did it, apart from the fact that I was free that morning. It was because I had seen some of my friend's photographs during the week, and I felt inspired.
Because I had not done this in a very long time, I ended up trying too hard and wasted a lot of shots. I spent four rolls of film – nearly 150 pictures – out of which one entire roll did not produce a single picture worthy of showing.
Still, I was glad I did it. Walking around with an open mind – and open eyes – produced a few pictures of subjects that I would not have thought of, including this picture of leaves.
I find that back alleys such as those at Little India Singapore, provide excellent opportunities for what I call candid still life pictures (click to view) where I take pictures of still life objects as they are.
By the way… how would you classify a picture of leaves that show dried, dead leaves. Is this nature photography? Or still life? Or… Why not just call it an art photograph?
The above picture of leaves is available for sale. Larger prints come in very limited editions, but smaller 5R and 8R prints are made very affordable to encourage the collection of fine art photographs by those with limited budgets.
All prints, including the affordable 5R and 8R prints, are signed by me, Richard Seah.