2014 Challenge, Week 4: Nature & Wildlife Photography – Backlit Leaves

Week 4 of the 2014 Photo Challenge. Up to now we have Trevor focusing on landscape photography, Jeremy technical aspects and Gary on Still Life photography. I’ll be focusing on my expertise, NATURE & WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY.

Nature photography is a little different from other types of photography as it focuses less on the artistic merits of the image. Nature photography tends to be more documentary and editorial as we try to bring forward the nature value of every subject we photograph.

Considering that half of the USA and Canada is stuck in a Winter Vortex I decided to start with a subject that can be photographed indoors. Leaves, more precisely backlit leaves. We don’t usually consider house plants, NATURE, but to accommodate the weather we’ll accept any leaves from any plant or tree.

Backlit Leaf

In photography we’re usually inclined to photograph our subjects lit from the front. The translucency of leave’s opens up a whole new dimension of details when they are lit from behind. (TIP: When photographing a scene like the one above make sure the Sun doesn’t hit your lens directly. This will help you avoid flares.)

Backlit leaf

In a close-up the details of backlit leaves are even more magical. Due to the leaves intricate structure, we’re mixing a little bit of texture work in with our backlit photography. No special lighting equipment necessary. You can use the Sun’s natural light, a lamp or even a flash. You can place a white translucent fabric between your light source and your subject to diffuse and soften harsher light.

If you’re looking for subjects out in nature, many Oak trees keep their golden dried leaves on the branch through winter.  Dead dried leaves have a special appearance of their own. Take time to find just the right subject for this challenge. Nature Photography is a great way to spend time outdoors, alone or with the family.

Backlit Oak Leaf

To fully take advantage of the sunlight, early mornings and late afternoons will provide a lower angle and softer light to work with.

Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2014 Photo Challenge is fun and easy. Post and share your images with the Photo Challenge Community on  Google+, Facebook,or Flickr.

About Steve Troletti

I'm a Location Scout, Editorial, Nature, Wildlife and Environmental Photographer based in Malibu, California. I specialize in Nature and Urban Nature photography including Infrared Landscapes. The Bulk of my work takes place in the Los Angeles, California area, Greater Montreal Region, Canada, Switzerland, France and Varese in Northern Italy. Ethical wildlife photography is the main priority and focus of my work. A minimum disturbance of the animals, their habitat and the environment is my top priority. This applies as much to total wilderness areas as it does to urban nature environments. Ongoing education of environmental issues and building awareness for the protection of wildlife and wilderness areas around the world is what drives me to document the beauty that surrounds us.