Thursday, November 8, 2012

Every year I do some still life images of late autumn leaves, leaves that are past their color prime and have more of a sculptural quality in their decaying state.  This project was inspired after I had read an essay by Thoreau, entitled "Autumnal Tints".  My ultimate goal it to make a book of the finished project.

I am including a few of the images I took this year as part of my late autumn project.  This year I used a technique of extreme depth of field to bring out a high resolution, sculptural quality to the individual leaves.  To do this I took approximately 25 photos of each leaf. I racked the focus out a tiny bit for each of the 25 images until the entire scene was covered.  Later I combined all the images into one super-sharp image using the program from Heliconsoft called, Helicon Focus.

It is impossible to really see the incredible sharpness that resulted from this technique from the images in this blog. So I have included a link to a larger file size.  You can access it by clicking on each image.

Here is the full quote that inspired this project.  It is from the essay, "Autumnal Tints" by Henry David Thoreau, and was published in 1862:

"It is pleasant to walk over the beds of these fresh, crisp, and rustling leaves. How beautifully they go to their graves! how gently lay themselves down and turn to mould!--painted of a thousand hues, and fit to make the beds of us living. So they troop to their last resting place, light and frisky. They put on no weeds, but merrily they go scampering over the earth, selecting the spot, choosing a lot, ordering no iron fence, whispering all through the woods about it,--some choosing the spot where the bodies of men are mouldering beneath, and meeting them half-way. How many flutterings before they rest quietly in their graves! They that soared so loftily, how contentedly they return to dust again, and are laid low, resigned to lie and decay at the foot of the tree, and afford nourishment to new generations of their kind, as well as to flutter on high! They teach us how to die. One wonders if the time will ever come when men, with their boasted faith in immortality, will lie down as gracefully and as ripe,--with such an Indian-summer serenity will shed their bodies, as they do their hair and nails"

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