Journal of a Photographer


The One Beautiful Thing project

Filed under: photography — admin @ 12:38

I’ve decided to begin a weekly project, which I am calling “One Beautiful Thing“. The plan is to shoot one thing that I find beautiful, every week. Could be a model, a product, a rock, a landscape, or anything that catches my eye and my imagination. It could be inherently beautiful, or, I hope, it’ll become beautiful under my tender care (either in or out of the studio).

This week it’s a leaf I found in a nearby park 4 or so years ago.

Being Canadian, I am partial to the maple tree (sadly, called “Plane trees” here in the UK) and this huge leaf was sitting on the ground in front of me as I walked through the grass on my way home (my memory may be playing tricks on me though, it’s quite possible that this leaf is one that my son spotted for me!). It had recently fallen, and was yellow and green, and still soft. I brought it back to the studio and hung it up in a sheltered corner where I promptly forgot about it. A couple of years later I rediscovered it in its present form, and it’s been the back of my mind ever since and it was the first thing I thought of shooting when I began this project. I love the shape and texture!

For the technically minded (shout out to Strobists): I hung it from the ceiling with black thread and lit it with a gridded strip box about 120° to camera left, balanced by a white reflector on the other side. The hard part was dealing with how it never stopped slowly rotating on that thread :-) Post-processing was a matter of removing the thread, rotating it -90°, and playing with luminance masks (differently for the colour and black & white treatments). They make very nice prints.

leaf in studio, black & white

leaf in studio, black & white

leaf in studio

leaf in studio



  1. I love the soft light on the leaf – did it meet Photoshop too? But it also reminds of a recent story heard in a Danish forest at the Northern part of Sjælland. Back in 1801 the Brits bombarded Copenhagen under the fighting leadership of Nelson: As a result of the loss of a large part of the Danish fleet, it was decided by the Danish Navy to plant some more trees, so more war ships could be produced. Earlier this year, the Navy received a letter from the North Zealand Forest Commission that their trees’ are now fully grown and ready for collection…

    Comment by Mads — 2012/05/22 @ 17:15

  2. simply stunning

    Comment by Pat Shroff — 2012/05/26 @ 06:42

  3. Right,” said Eddie. Extremely rare. Native to the East Coast, but does well in Texas soil or Washington shadows. Grows tall for a bush, a sort of a pale, conservative green, but, Wow! What a flower! Red, white, and blue, and the aroma is sweeter than cherry blossoms along the Potomac.” canada goose jacket dealers

    Comment by canada goose jacket dealers — 2013/11/29 @ 08:59

  4. you loved ones would have nothing to feel sorry about.

    Oakley Jawbone Sunglasses

    Comment by Oakley Jawbone Sunglasses — 2014/09/13 @ 00:46

  5. Hi there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any methods to prevent hackers?

    Comment by nike baratas outlet store — 2015/04/14 @ 23:54

  6. Way cool! Some extremely valid рoints! Ι apprecate уou writing tһiѕ
    post plus the rest οf thᥱ website іѕ
    also really ǥood.

    Τake а ⅼοߋk аt mү site;
    adidas yeezy boost

    Comment by adidas yeezy boost — 2016/01/09 @ 05:50


    Comment by — 2016/01/13 @ 13:29

  8. Thank you, I’ve recently been looking for information approximately this topic for a while and yours is the best I’ve discovered so far. But, what concerning the bottom line? Are you sure in regards to the supply?

    Comment by cheap office nike air max 90 — 2016/03/07 @ 21:41

  9. I was recommended this blog via my cousin. I’m no longer certain whether or not this submit
    is written by means of him as nobody else know such specific approximately my problem.

    You are incredible! Thank you! undangan pernikahan unik

    Comment by — 2017/02/04 @ 01:19

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment