Winter Leaf

Winter Leaf

Here’s another photo that not only came about due to sheer serendipity and, as it turns out, a massive blunder on my part. I had my camera with me as I went to work, and before I got to my building I saw some leaves frozen in a puddle. No big deal, right? Still, I figured I might as well try for something so I got down low and took a few shots. Then I figured I would just go for broke and just lay prone on the grass by the puddle and take a few more photos. As I’ve mentioned before I am more than a bit self-conscious when it comes to taking pictures where (gasp!) someone might notice, but it’s something I am determined to overcome. So there I am, lying face first on the ground taking photos of leaves, and you know what? I really enjoyed it. But when I loaded the pictures in Lightroom I discovered that my favorite of the bunch was massively overexposed. Way bummer, right? I lowered the exposure by a stop and a half, decreased the highlights by 100, shook my head in dismay, and closed Lightroom.

A few hours later I returned to the photo and was pleasantly surprised that I actually liked what I saw. Even though it did not fit what I was originally aiming for, I liked how the leaf now looked like it was covered in a light frost. What you see as frost is actually missing data that was clipped out due to the overexposure, which I actually like. I toyed with a few other color adjustments before tossing it up to the ol’ Flickr page, and it makes me wonder what other creative uses there are for intentional over- or under-exposure. Hmm…

On a side note, many people say (and to an extent I agree with them) that Electronic Viewfinders are the future for cameras because, among other things, they let you see exactly what the final photo will look like. If I had been using a mirrorless camera with an EVF on this particular morning, I would have never gotten this shot.


  1. Rely cool photo Simon and yes your right, sometimes the photos do surprise you ween is show up on the computer, an that goos both ways.

    • Thank you, Catarina! I am still amazed at how if I just keep my eyes open, there are photographic opportunities all around. Even when I think I might have made a mistake too :)

  2. I cannot tell you how nice it was to see someone else talk about being self conscious when taking pictures where someone else might see. I am just a hobbyist photographer who considers herself still in the learning phase (although I’m not sure if I’ll ever get out of that mindset) but…I am dreadfully shy about taking photos with my “big camera” (Canon t3i with a 50mm lens) where others might see me. I too am determined to overcome this. I love hearing how you just went for it and “had fun.” You’re giving me confidence to do the same! Thank you. P.S. I love your project and Go Pokes!!

    • Shannon, if it makes you feel better, I am right there with you. I got my Master’s degree from OSU and have worked here for over five years, and I still get horribly self-conscious when I walk around with my camera and take photos of things. You’re definitely not alone! Do you have any of your photos online? It would be cool to see the kind of pics you take, and I’m sure you will be able to overcome some of your self-consciousness as you practice. That t3i + 50mm is a fantastic combo, by the way. You can get some amazing shots with it!

      • I also went to OSU for my undergraduate degree (a thousand years ago) and miss Stillwater terribly. I was very excited when I found your blog (and don’t even remember how I found it). My husband and I live in Tulsa now and rarely make it over there, maybe once a year or so. I’ve had this camera for more than 2 years and have been learning how to use a dslr since. To improve this year, l am currently doing a 365 project, but I’m not really sharing anything publicly (probably a lot of that self confidence issue here but some privacy issues as well since most of my photos are of my child and family). Maybe one day I’ll share my photos. Thanks for your inspiration and your encouragement.

        • It’s always nice to meet fellow OSU Cowboys! Tulsa is great, and thankfully there are all sorts of good places over there for taking photographs. I’m often amazed at what I can find just on the OSU campus, and I can only imagine what I would do with a day to shoot in Tulsa :) Good luck with your 365 Photo project, and I’m sure it will help you become a better photographer!

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