How to Photograph Fall Color: Part Three – Still Life

fall color

Keeping Fall Color On Hand

Fall color soon fades but here’s a way to keep some of it around. Gather leaves and store them them in paper grocery bags — not packed, just placed into the bags loosely so that air can circulate and help dry them. When you need some for you photography just go to your stash and pick some. Sometimes they’re useful in their dry, curly state, but soaking them for a little while in water will cause them to uncurl. Drying between paper towels with a little weight on top turns them into dry flat ones.

Fall Color Still Life

Curly or flat, these pieces of concentrated fall color will add realism and interest to still life photos with an autumn theme. The first simple arrangement on a table is attractive in itself. Adding wine and candles — be careful, you don’t want a yard fire in your house — turns it into a piece of pictorial art suitable for advertising copy or worthy of a place on your wall. You can use it seasonally and if fall color works well in your decor it might even work all year round.

autumn color still life stillfall foliage stilllife

Another way to use fall color in a still life is to create a collage of fall color photos. I created the opening photograph by assembling images of leaves taken from my grocery bag stash. Their beauty was captured with a flatbed scanner with the lid open so that the white cover would not reflect back into the scanner. This gave me fall color on a black background right out of the scanner. From there it was simply a matter of laying out the grid using Photoshop, sizing the leaf images appropriately, and arranging them on the grid.

Be sure to check out Part One and Part Two of this series on photographing fall color.

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