Here it is, my final photo for 2020. And just like usual, there isn’t really anything special or noteworthy about the fact that this image is the one to close out the year but I hope you enjoy it anyway. I schedule my posts weeks or even months in advance, and it’s basically just dumb luck as far as which picture happens to land on any given Wednesday, but even so I do think there is something to be said for this particular image as we leave 2020 behind and head into a new year.
But first, the photo. This was the result of several attempts at capturing a backlit leaf at Theta Pond one morning in mid November. The first challenge was to find a single leaf, isolated against everything else in the frame. An inspection of a nearby gingko tree resulted in nothing noteworthy, as too many leaves were visible in the shots I was taking and nothing really stood out in the frame. Then I came upon this tree on the south side of the pond, and actually ended up removing two dead leaves from the foreground that would have obscured the leaf you see here. I put my camera in Live View because I wanted to get three specific balls of light to the left of the leaf just right in the frame, and thankfully the wind had died down a little because, let’s face it, my D7100 in Live View is…well, let’s just say it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of autofocus performance. The final composition is one that I like. Really like. I thought the greens on the top left, the bright leaf in the middle against a darker background, and the spots of yellow in the lower-left corner create a compelling composition that I enjoy a great deal. The backlighting worked perfectly, and there’s even a tiny drop of water on the bottom of the leaf–a little bonus I didn’t even plan on. It’s a great picture of a dying leaf, and yet it also fills me with hope to look at this too.
If you really wanted to (and I’m not saying I do, but…if you wanted to) you could turn this picture into a bit of a metaphor for this past year. I tried writing a few sentences about it and deleted all of them, because nothing I can say here on my little photo blog can hope to console those who have lost family, friends, and loved ones due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Make of this photo what you will: I have some thoughts in my head, but that’s probably where they will stay until I can find a better way to share them in written form. But whatever you think of this image, I hope you can focus not only just on the withered leaf but on the bright spots behind it, the green trees full of life, and the sunlight streaming through the frame lending an iridescent glow to everything you can see. Let those parts of the picture not be absent from whatever thoughts and interpretations you take from this.
And may all of us, Lord willing, look forward to a bright and hopeful 2021. May God bless you and keep you, may He make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you, and may He look upon you with favor and give you his peace that passes all human understanding.
Cheers, everyone. See you next year :)