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Keith Dotson | Catching Shadows

THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHER KEITH DOTSON

How I collect dead leaves for photography

How I collect dead leaves for photography

Intact leaf skeletons are exceedingly difficult to find

I’ve been working on a series of large-scale macro photographs of leaf skeletons. I want to continue the series, but I’m learning that good quality leaf skeletons are very tough to find!

When I go out walking to look for dead leaves and other natural objects, I carry an old book to store the fragile items until I get them back to the studio. The pages protect them from breakage and flattens them, making them easier to photograph.

I insert the stems of some things like curled grasses, which I don’t want to press flat.

I usually add extra weight on top the book for a week or so, to make sure the leaves are thoroughly flattened and pressed.

I use this out-of-date AP stylebook that would have been recycled to hold fragile leaves.
I use this out-of-date AP stylebook that would have been recycled to hold fragile leaves.
Delicate leaves, like this partially skeletal one I found on my nightly walk, are kept safe between the book's pages, and at the same time, flattened.
Delicate leaves, like this partially skeletal one I found on my nightly walk, are kept safe between the book’s pages, and at the same time, flattened.

Once I’ve photographed the objects, I keep them between the pages of another big book for future use.

Thanks for reading!

Be sure to visit me on FacebookGoogle+ or Pinterest, or on my website at keithdotson.com.

~ Keith

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