Photographing Autumn Leaves – DIY Studio

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Leaf-1

This post is a continuation of my previous post on Autumn Leaves.

Another series of shots that my Canadian friend had taken were close up shots single leaves. The leaves were backlit with a warm glowing sunlight and showed a lot of detail.

As I was looking at the images I reflected to my friend how challenging I found outdoor macro photography to be on days that had even the smallest breeze that might move the subject.

He told me that he got around that problem by photographing these leaves inside and not outside. I was a little shocked at this – because the light looked natural and I on some of them I could see a background with outdoor features.

My friend shared his ‘secret’ – he would go on leaf hunting expeditions in a local park and bring back the best specimens to his home.

The front room of his house had a lovely large window with lots of natural light. He would take a leaf and put cello-tape across the stem of the leave and stick it flat against the window. In doing this he created a perfectly still subject (no breezes inside), natural backlight and if he wanted it an ‘outdoor’ background.

He then would set up his camera on a tripod, attach his macro lens and start shooting in his do it yourself Autumn leaf studio.

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • That’s a great idea, I never thought to try that.

  • Eamon Behan

    The tips and news are great. I love when the email arrives as it puts work into it’s proper perspective and renews your enthusiasm for photography !

  • harry hockedy

    thats clever

  • harry hockedy

    excellent idea

  • Yes – a very good idea. You would need to have a very clean window because any dirt would be in the same plane of focus as the leaf. Or at least you would need to be prepared to clone out ant dirt.
    You would also need to be careful with any reflections from inside the room – using a large aperture would help.

    However, that isn’t how I took this one – it was dangling from a Virginia creeper just under the porch where it is naturally sheltered.

    Anyway – looks like a good tip for isolating the leaf from the background!

  • This is great! With our kids we have done some leaf pressing and shadowboxing, but building a leaf studio is a whole new twist on what to do with the souvineers that come home with us after walks. Thanks…

  • What is the best way of getting into DIY? Can anyone reccommend good books out there?
    I have no clue on DIY, the best i can do is probably change a light bulb! I just need a head start 🙂 Thanks.

  • Evelyn in Oregon

    I did this once …taping a maple leaf to a west-facing window and doing a macro shot of the veining. The color was amazing! As soon as the leaves begin to turn this fall, I’m going to do that ‘indoor-outdoor leaf photography’ again.

  • Martin Bell

    Dear Darren,

    My name is Martin Bell. I live in Suriname a South American country near Brasil and dutch speaking.

    I’ve been following your updates eversince i signed up for DPS and i must say i have learned a lot from your tips and weekly assignments. I just started out photography now as a hobby, but i’m starting to like it and it’s turning in to passion for me. I’m tking picture of my baby daughter everyday since i’ve got my camera. And that for me is a good excersise course.

    So I’m saying thank you for all the helpfull tips and weekly assignments.

  • Thank you, I’ve recently been looking for information about this topic for ages and yours is the greatest I’ve discovered till now. But, what concerning the bottom line? Are you certain in regards to the source?|What i don’t realize is in truth how you’re not really much more neatly-liked than you may be right now. You are very intelligent.

  • Cinnara

    It’s of course an idea to use sello tape. But the result is a bit boring.
    This one is taken outside.

Some Older Comments

  • paula chaves October 25, 2012 03:16 pm

    Thank you, I've recently been looking for information about this topic for ages and yours is the greatest I've discovered till now. But, what concerning the bottom line? Are you certain in regards to the source?|What i don't realize is in truth how you're not really much more neatly-liked than you may be right now. You are very intelligent.

  • Martin Bell June 4, 2010 11:37 pm

    Dear Darren,

    My name is Martin Bell. I live in Suriname a South American country near Brasil and dutch speaking.

    I've been following your updates eversince i signed up for DPS and i must say i have learned a lot from your tips and weekly assignments. I just started out photography now as a hobby, but i'm starting to like it and it's turning in to passion for me. I'm tking picture of my baby daughter everyday since i've got my camera. And that for me is a good excersise course.

    So I'm saying thank you for all the helpfull tips and weekly assignments.

  • Evelyn in Oregon September 18, 2009 10:19 am

    I did this once ...taping a maple leaf to a west-facing window and doing a macro shot of the veining. The color was amazing! As soon as the leaves begin to turn this fall, I'm going to do that 'indoor-outdoor leaf photography' again.

  • Noah August 5, 2009 01:34 am

    What is the best way of getting into DIY? Can anyone reccommend good books out there?
    I have no clue on DIY, the best i can do is probably change a light bulb! I just need a head start :) Thanks.

  • Mike Barlow September 2, 2007 09:17 am

    This is great! With our kids we have done some leaf pressing and shadowboxing, but building a leaf studio is a whole new twist on what to do with the souvineers that come home with us after walks. Thanks...

  • Steve Stone January 11, 2007 07:28 pm

    Yes - a very good idea. You would need to have a very clean window because any dirt would be in the same plane of focus as the leaf. Or at least you would need to be prepared to clone out ant dirt.
    You would also need to be careful with any reflections from inside the room - using a large aperture would help.

    However, that isn't how I took this one - it was dangling from a Virginia creeper just under the porch where it is naturally sheltered.

    Anyway - looks like a good tip for isolating the leaf from the background!

  • harry hockedy January 11, 2007 06:24 am

    excellent idea

  • harry hockedy December 6, 2006 10:48 am

    thats clever

  • Eamon Behan December 1, 2006 10:31 am

    The tips and news are great. I love when the email arrives as it puts work into it's proper perspective and renews your enthusiasm for photography !

  • lobo235 November 30, 2006 01:54 am

    That's a great idea, I never thought to try that.

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