Every leaf lays down its life

I find myself drawn to the words of Henry David Thoreau, an American poet & philosopher amongst other things & I often use his quotes for their expressiveness as was the case for this shot and story, I had these words in mind:

Every blade in the field, every leaf in the forest, lays down its life in its season, as beautifully as it was taken up. ~Henry David Thoreau

Many leaves can already be found amongst the fallen on this mid-October day in Hubbard Park, Meriden CT. So, I had found my background tree, I then went in search for the right leaf of the same color, red on red against green.

The story for this image had to be told from a ground zero vantage point, that much I knew before setting up.

I've been planning to try this little upside down stunt with my tripod and my day had finally come. Truth told, I did at first try to position the camera in the grass - shutter speeds were fast enough to rid of the tripod. I'd be shooting wide-open for shallow DOF and a nice bokeh to accent the red tree without over-powering the subject. However, it just wasn't working out as the blades of grass were competing for attention in front of my lens.

This could have been the near perfect solution had I used my remote shutter release. Trying to find the camera's controls & buttons as you know them isn't as easy as I had figured when upside down, it took a little adjustment and was quite humorous. I wondered what other park visitors thought of me laughing at myself laying in the grass in the middle of this field.

Anyway, after settling in & arranging my elements, I was ready to make an image but then the wind had risen and stole my leaf, go figure. I eventually got my leaf back & after several adjustments I got my shot.

After all this, I had wondered... Is there dignity in death? This single, noble leaf bearing worthiness, had brought me to a place of peace. The whole process of making this image was more enjoyable than the image itself! Time and again it brings me full circle to one of my favorite quotes: "If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere" And in this case, even from a dying leaf.

See it, believe it, shoot it.

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