Black and White Leaves

Posted: September 16, 2015 in Uncategorized


We had some high winds blow through our area, and I always know when I enter into the woods I will find groups of leaves lying on the forest floor. And sometimes I find some interesting compositions of leaves.
Here is a small group of Sycamore leaves I found on the leaf litter. Near the center of the group you will see three leaves that are contrasting in colors. That’s a nice comp that I will frame up.



Here is the shot out of the camera. Not all that exciting right out of the camera, but I know it’s going to get better with some processing. We see subjects like this and visualize how it’s going to look after we apply some post processing. What drew me was the slight variation in the colors of these three leaves creating contrast.



I first ran the image through Topaz’s Simplify4 and chose the BuzSim Toned 4 filter which pulled out some of the details, and gave the outside area a white vignette.



I cloned out some of the brown spots on the leaves in Photoshop Elements. Then I decided to see how this image would look as a black and white. So I brought the image into Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro2 and chose one of the filters and I think I like this image best as a black and white. Hope you like it.

black and white_edited-1


There are some many ways to go with an image like this in post processing, and that’s part of the fun of digital photography, playing with the post processing to see what we can come up with to make an image better.


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  1. says:

    Hi Mike I am registered for the class this weekend in MPLS. I am unable to attend. Will I be able to use the cost of the clas son a future class? Please advise Thanks Julie Sailor

  2. summitjim says:

    Mike, I really like the leaves in black and white. In the old days it would have taken hours in the darkroom, breathing those fumes trying to get that image. Love digital!

  3. Douglas Berg says:

    Hi Mike, I am always amazed at how and where you find subjects and how you can take an ordinary image and turn it into an interesting visual presentation. Looking forward to your October workshop in Farmington Hills. Hopefully I can pick up some of your processing tips.

  4. Sadly, since I live in Scotland and, given my limited budget, the cost of travelling abroad is prohibitive, I am unable to attend any of your workshops. What a bummer! Nonetheless, I find your pictorial blogs very useful and an inspiration; particularly with regards to helping me learn to “see” the shot. After having seen some of your incredible work I am developing a better eye for the shot. Thanks to your work I am now seeing photo opportunities that earlier I would have overlooked. Keep up the good work and thank you for sharing your expertise.

    By the way, I like the B&W version.

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