Heavy Glow in a Leaf Bokeh

Bokeh play out of focus

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge has the theme of Glow.  Definitely a natural fit for quite a bit of my photography, as I enjoy backlit images…

Today, my good friend and amazing photographer George and I went for a stroll in Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge in Harvard, Massachusetts.  As many of you might know, this area is one that I come back to frequently, as there is always some source of inspiration for my photography.  Of course, today was no exception!

Despite it being October 22, the weather was just perfect with a warm 72F (22C) temperature; you won’t hear me complain about this weather other than that it feels odd to have weather this warm this far into October.  As a result of the weather, trees have been slow to change their colors, which has allowed me to capture a mixture of color.

There were lots of great shots that I’ll share with you; for today, I share this little artistic number…

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Heavy Glow

Heavy glow within the leaves that float in the remainder of flooded landscape.

Have a wonderful day!

Leafy Halo

Looking up is worth it!

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge has the theme of Glow.  Definitely a natural fit for quite a bit of my photography, as I enjoy backlit images…

There are a number of images that came to mind for this challenge, of which one stood out, as it also connected with one of my posts from a week ago.  During the same outing that I got some amazing beach scenery to photograph, I also decided to look up and noticed how the sun was creating a bit of a halo effect in the clouds.

So I put this effect to use in capturing this…

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Leafy Halo

Silhouetting the leaves and branches tells a story of a cold day, filled with beauty!

Have a wonderful day!

Life among the Leaves

Amidst beauty

The WordPress Daily Prompt today has the intriguing theme of Inhabit.  I say intriguing, because much as one can inhabit their environment, once may also be inhabited…

As I was looking through some of my images for a bit of inspiration, I came across one that might fit the theme…

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Among the Leaves

This image came about from one of my explorations of Tower Hill Botanic Garden.  As I walked through the systematic garden, I noticed the play of the Sun and the shadows that were cast.  Getting very close to the ground for this shot, I wanted to get the sense of being surrounded by super-sized leaves…

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday Wonderment – pt 20

Turning over leaves

Many readers are undoubtedly aware of my appreciation for trees and all the wonders that they provide.  There are just so many things to admire about trees, such as their endurance across many weather phenomena, their shape in response to their environment, the oxygen that they provide, the list goes on.

One interesting phenomenon of the tree is the leaf.  As we see in this image, there is some variety in shape and color.

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Pondscape

Morphology of the Leaf

A structurally complete leaf of an angiosperm consists of a petiole (leaf stalk), a lamina (leaf blade), and stipules (small structures located to either side of the base of the petiole). Not every species produces leaves with all of these structural components. In certain species, paired stipules are not obvious or are absent altogether. A petiole may be absent, or the blade may not be laminar (flattened). The tremendous variety shown in leaf structure (anatomy) from species to species is presented in detail below under morphology. The petiole mechanically links the leaf to the plant and provides the route for transfer of water and sugars to and from the leaf. The lamina is typically the location of the majority of photosynthesis. The upper (adaxial) angle between a leaf and a stem is known as the axil of the leaf. It is often the location of a bud. Structures located there are called “axillary”.

 External leaf characteristics, such as shape, margin, hairs, the petiole, and the presence of stipules, are important for identifying plant species, and botanists have developed a rich terminology for describing leaf characteristics. Leaves have determinate growth. They grow to a specific pattern and shape and then stop. Other plant parts like stems or roots have non-determinate growth, and will usually continue to grow as long as they have the resources to do so.

The type of leaf is usually characteristic of a species (monomorphic), although some species produce more than one type of leaf (dimorphic or polymorphic). The longest leaves are those of the Raffia palm, R. regalis which may be up to 25 m (82.38 ft) long and 3 m (9.84 ft) wide.  The terminology associated with the description of leaf morphology is presented, in illustrated form, at Wikibooks.

Where leaves are basal, and lie on the ground, they are referred to as prostrate.

Basic leaf types

  • Ferns have fronds
  • Conifer leaves are typically needle- or awl-shaped or scale-like
  • Angiosperm (flowering plant) leaves: the standard form includes stipules, a petiole, and a lamina
  • Lycophytes have microphyll leaves.
  • Sheath leaves (type found in most grasses and many other monocots)
  • Other specialized leaves (such as those of Nepenthes, a pitcher plant)

Arrangement on the Stem

The leaves on this plant are arranged in pairs opposite one another, with successive pairs at right angles to each other (“decussate”) along the red stem. Note the developing buds in the axils of these leaves.

  • Alternate – leaf attachments are singular at nodes, and leaves alternate direction, to a greater or lesser degree, along the stem.
  • Basal – arising from the base of the stem.
  • Cauline – arising from the aerial stem.
  • Opposite – Two structures, one on each opposite side of the stem, typically leaves, branches, or flower parts. Leaf attachments are paired at each node and decussate if, as typical, each successive pair is rotated 90° progressing along the stem.
  • Whorled (Verticillate)  – three or more leaves attach at each point or node on the stem. As with opposite leaves, successive whorls may or may not be decussate, rotated by half the angle between the leaves in the whorl (i.e., successive whorls of three rotated 60°, whorls of four rotated 45°, etc.). Opposite leaves may appear whorled near the tip of the stem. Pseudoverticillate describes an arrangement only appearing whorled, but not actually so.
  • Rosulate – leaves form a rosette
  • Rows – The term “distichous” literally means “two rows”. Leaves in this arrangement may be alternate or opposite in their attachment. The term “2-ranked” is equivalent. The terms tristichous and tetrastichous are sometimes encountered. For example, the “leaves” (actually microphylls) of most species of Selaginella are tetrastichous, but not decussate.

As a stem grows, leaves tend to appear arranged around the stem in a way that optimizes yield of light. In essence, leaves form a helix pattern centered around the stem, either clockwise or counterclockwise, with (depending upon the species) the same angle of divergence. There is a regularity in these angles and they follow the numbers in a Fibonacci sequence: 1/2, 2/3, 3/5, 5/8, 8/13, 13/21, 21/34, 34/55, 55/89. This series tends to a limit close to 360° × 34/89 = 137.52° or 137° 30′, an angle known in mathematics as the golden angle. In the series, the numerator indicates the number of complete turns or “gyres” until a leaf arrives at the initial position and the denominator indicates the number of leaves in the arrangement. This can be demonstrated by the following:

  • alternate leaves have an angle of 180° (or 1/2)
  • 120° (or 1/3) : three leaves in one circle
  • 144° (or 2/5) : five leaves in two gyres
  • 135° (or 3/8) : eight leaves in three gyres.

Hope you enjoyed this short overview of shape and arrangement of leaves.

Technical Details

This shot was taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III using an EF 24-105mm f/4L lens.  The exposure settings were 1/60 second at f/6.3 and 400 ISO.

Wednesday Wonderment – pt 13

Among green giants

As we continue to explore the amazing world and universe, in which we find ourselves, I find myself continually drawn into the simple aspects of the natural world that surrounds us.  And when I say simple, I’m referring to the commonplace items, such as leaves, which show shape and variety seemingly without bounds.

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Form, shadow and light

On this beautiful Summer’s day, it was pure joy to look at the interplay of light and shadows among these variegated leaves.  These leaves already have stunning form and structure, which would also be a wonderful subject for a macro study (maybe later).  The bright light of the day just made them look that much more imposing.

When I see scenes of this kind, I very much enjoy approaching them from an angle that is low to the ground, as it allows the featured artists to be even bigger stars.  Looking up to the blue sky, the verdant leaves are imposing in their size, shape and beauty.  It is as if we find ourselves surrounded by an army of green giants, who are ever marching toward the sun.

Hope you enjoy this little bit of wonderment.

Technical Details

I captured this image with a Canon EOS 5D Mk II using an EF 24-105mm f/4L lens.  Exposure settings were 1/50 second at f/16 and 100 ISO (yes, there was a lot of light).

I did perform a bit of post processing in PhotoShop with an adjustment to crop this to a 4:5 aspect ratio and some minor sharpening and contrast adjustment.  The other ‘trick’ that I used was Topaz Labs Texture Effects with a mild application of the Lilac Tinge effect and the addition of a bit of Light Leak to get the sunburst in play.