Autumn Leaves in Macro

Today’s Post by Mildred Alpern

There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood —

Touch of manner, hint of mood;

And my heart is like a rhyme,

With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time .” ~ Carmen Bliss, A Vagabond Song

The hunt for autumnal fallen leaves is a walking adventure in parks and on tree-lined streets. October tantalizes with vibrant splashes of color, and maple leaves are prime examples of the provocation. The crimson and golden shades begin as tiny dots that spread in daring patterns to grab attention from afar. Up close, the delicate vein structure and serrated leaf margins warrant examination for their beauty, and a macro lens is a must for detailed images.

In varied stages of turning, the leaves differ markedly. Pointillist dots of saffron on one leaf and bold strokes of crimson on another suggest that George Seurat, the Neo-impressionist, and Mark Rothko, the Abstract Expressionist, are working on separate canvases. Of course the explanation for changing colors is scientifically known, but sometimes to “look… in perfect silence” (Walt Whitman) is all.

All images were shot with the Olympus E-M5; the bank of trees with Olympus M. Zuiko 12-40 f/2.8 pro lens at 21mm with an exposure of 1/320 sec and ISO 400; the leaves with the Olympus M. Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro lens; the pointillist leaf with an exposure of 1/1600 sec and ISO 400; and the crimson stained leaf with an exposure of 1/500 sec and ISO 400.