Skeleton leaves have been popular with crafters, and scrapbookers for quite a while. I’ve always found them to be fascinating, and wanted to use them in some of my still life photos. I researched how to create them and gave it the old college try with varying levels of success. Fortunately they can be easily purchased, in packets, online. I’d like to share a few of my many compositions using these leaves along with some thoughts on each composition.
In Skeleton leaf #1, I wanted the leaves themselves to be the star of the show. I felt low key styling with minimal added elements should highlight the structure of the leaves to their fullest. In all of these compositions, I wanted reflections to be an integral element of the shot.
In Skeleton Leaf #2, I switched to a brighter composition with a cool feel using a blue as my main tone. The leaves themselves are reduced to almost a silhouette and serve in almost a supporting role to the overall image. Even in this role, the transparency and structure of the leaves is quite striking. Once again the leaf reflections, along with the small flower bloom anchor the image quite nicely.
My mindset going into Skeleton Leaf #3 was to go with a hot feel, thus the bright red tone of the image. This time I spilled a bit more light onto the leaves to make them stand out against the darker base of the image. A small cup of white blooms adds a touch of a highlight to the composition. As always I allowed the reflections to be the base for the scene.
My thought process going into Skeleton Leaf #4 was to create the most impact of any of the images so far. I’ve gone back to the low key background with major contrast to that background by the main cast of characters (i.E. the vase and leaves themselves) I chose the white vase for it’s bold lines and bright finish. The skeleton leaves stand proudly and are lit to show the skeletal surface at its best. To finish off the concept of the image, I chose the bright rosy toned flower and it’s green leaves to add that bold touch of color to balance out the shot.
There are more images, but these are a few of my favorites. I guess one of the main advantages of doing a series like this, using the same subject, is that it forces you to use your imagination more and test your creativity. Working to develop a different look or feel, each time, will help you grow as an artist. I hope you’ve enjoyed the exercise. Feel free to share your thoughts.
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