fall colors on a flatbed

Today’s post is about an easily overlooked subject, the leaves at our feet, and one of my often overlooked tools, the flatbed scanner.

Every fall I seem to take a few photographs of trees as the leaves change color. Most often I judge the merit of a particular fall display by how colorful a stand of trees off in the distance appears. This year the leaves aren’t particularly interesting from afar so instead I took a closer look, picking up some leaves while walking.

My main purpose for this is that I’ve been looking for color inspiration lately, new color palettes to work with, and there really is no better source of inspiration than nature. After collecting the leaves they were simply recorded on my flatbed scanner so an eyedropper tool could be used to pluck out individual colors. Further examination of the scans showed beautifully subtle gradations and complex but balanced networks of veins throughout the leaves…really, more than I’d bargained for.

The scanner doesn’t get used often and sits idle for 99.9% of the year, but in this case it’s granted me a new perspective on a subject. It’s reminded me of a couple of things:

1. Scanning is a really quick, easy, high quality way to collect colors and textures. I’m interested in seeing what other things might look like scanned, whether as art objects on their own or for use in a photo collage. I’ve utilized textures in my fine art photography before and using scanned textures like this may lead to new inspirations.

2. We probably all realize this next point but sometimes I can use a reminder. Just because something doesn’t look beautiful at first sight doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a second, closer look.