One of my favorite trees for photography in the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil is the Embaúba (Cecropia). When completely dried, the leaves of this plant curve inwards like a fist and reveal interesting patterns and shapes.
The leaf of the Cecropia, although green, has a somewhat silver glow that stands out against the green of the canopy (below). Sorry it’s just a cell phone photo, but does the trick.
The silver glow of the Embaúba is more intense on the underside.
Before photographing the leaf of the Cecropia, make sure you wash it and wait for it to dry, then use a narrow aperture to get most of its tridimensional shape in focus. Don’t forget to get close (below). Black and white conversion is a little tricky because there is little contrast in the leaf. To enhance contrast, I used various post-processing techniques, including color filters, and dodging and burning.
I asked my mother to take a cell phone photograph of me with one large leaf, to give a scale (below). For photos of the various stages of this plant in nature, click here.
This leaf was the reason why I started a new project photographing dry leaves, follow up on my next post about the subject.