By Scott Shephard
Skip the words if words aren't your thing. Just look at the four versions of this same leaf. It won't take more than a few seconds.
But for those who might be interested, I have something more. Given that the San Francisco Botanical Gardens cover 55 acres and offer 8000 different plants, it may strike you as odd that I am showing four photos of a single leaf in this fabulous place. But even a leaf becomes interesting given the right elements. In this case the fascinating lines and textures caught my eye. But what really helps in this photo is the light.
Years ago I read an article in a photo magazine about "seeing the light." I'll be honest in saying that I thought that it sounded dumb. But after two decades and a few thousand hours of practice, I'm starting to get it - I'm seeing the light better and better all the time.
And even for non photographers looking at today's post, when it comes to the light, here are the questions I'd like you to ponder: What is the direction of the light? Is the light hard and direct or is it soft and diffused? What is the color of the light - it is warm, cool or neutral? Finally, what does the quality of this particular light give or take from this subject? Would it be a better or worse photo, if the light were totally different?
And, to make this simple leaf even more complicated, see what happens when I change my point of view. Do you feel manipulated? You should because that's what worthy photos do best. A good photo = good subject+good light+good composition. And few other technical things, too . . .
I move closer
And now I wave my magic wand and turn it in to something completely unnatural - a black and white photo.
Canon 5DIII 1/90s f/4.5 ISO250 100mm