So, I decided to break away from my botanical shots and just do whatever comes to mind. On my way home from work, I saw that there were already some leaves turning color, so out of habit or inspiration (who knows?) I decided to do an "Autumn Leaves" shot.
My concept was something along the lines of the gods of autumn painting the leaves their colors. What I really wanted to do was take my leaf skeletons (seen here), possibly paint them green, and then pour red and yellow paint onto them, catching the paint pour in the photo. But, that was a bit complicated -I wasn't sure how to stage it. So, I painted the leaf skeletons red, orange, and yellow instead, and then staged a shot where the paintbrush hung over the leaves by a thread I could clone out. I tried it 2 ways -with the paintbrush still to show detail, and with the brush swinging to get some motion blur. Neither worked in my opinion:
I thought the paint was too much and the leaves just weren't right. And the idea of the paintbrush hovering wasn't coming through because there was little to hint at such a 3-D space. So the next day I gathered a few colorful leaves -there weren't many, but I found a few, and I tried again. I thought this time I'd do something similar, but make the leaves more central since they are the main idea anyway. Unfortunately, I failed again.
This one was getting a bit closer. It was less gimmicky, more about the leaves, but again -the paint buckets weren't showing up against the white. At this point, they were days old, the paint was dry, and they were very stuck to the white paper. I didn't really want to redo the photo with a black background and felt that the paintbrush would get lost if I did that anyway. So, I decided to lose the paint buckets. That left me with leaves and a brush. I arranged the items in several different ways, and eventually decided to simplify the shot by choosing just one leaf. As soon as I looked through the camera, I knew I was getting closer. Here's the end result:
It looks quite nice large. I'm currently using it as my wallpaper and I think that although it underwent many changes, it still conveys the same feeling that I was hoping for when I first conceived of the project.
What do you think? Feel free to comment here, on the Photography_Beginners yahoogroup, or on Flickr.