Autumn Leaves: Still. Life.


My digital photo experience began in April 2002 with the Nikon CoolPix 950 swivel-model camera–a whopping 2 MB shirt-pocket miracle.

Among my half dozen favorite images from that first year of blogging with images was a shot of water drops on a magnolia leaf along the “New Road.” The subtle colors, the lines of the leaf, the brilliance of the beaded raindrops was, to me, deeply beautiful.

So when we set out on our walk yesterday after a couple of days of heavy sprinkles, I began to notice that we were at just the time of year when I might be able to take another magnolia leaf picture with the Canon Powershot G7X.

I recruited Ann to help me find not just any leaf but one that displayed  both soft muted lighting (which was exactly what the lower overcast gave us) and a natural composition that offered shape, color and form.

And this is what we found. Nothing was touched. I have been known to “improve” compositions by selectively adding or removing as needed. Nothing was needed this time.

Click the image to see the full size picture and go here for the gallery with maybe a dozen shots to start this SmugMug gallery. You will have seen a few of these here.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Beautiful gallery of fall photos. Your leaf still life is exceptionally lovely. I would enjoy seeing the 2002 one for comparison. 2mg vs. what: 12?