Leaf 'floating' on Salt Flats in Death Valley, California.

Once in a while, image ideas come to you in the most unexpected ways. But if you like to do creating composites, it’s a great idea to keep files of images that can work for this. I keep a folder on my hard drive titled Textures and Patterns. I also keep one that has solitary images against simple backgrounds, things that can easily be ‘clipped’ from their backgrounds. That’s how this image was born. I had a single leaf floating on a pond in Maine, and it was an easy one to clip and paste into some other photograph. But which one? While going through my image files for my revised book, Creative Nature and Outdoor Photography, I had selected this image of salt formations for an example of wide angle lenses and/or perspective. But others were chosen instead, and this one was ‘rejected’ temporarily. Until I revisited them. I love the blue of open shade that colored the whitish salt formations; and I thought about how at times, those salt plans are flooded with a thin layer of water after a desert storm. So why not have the leaf ‘float’ on the salt flat as if flooded now? And that’s how this image was born, and ultimately got into the book under the creative chapters.  It’s not meant to be real, but rather surreal. (If I wanted it to look totally real, I’d have had to make a reflection effect on the whole salt pan picture, and well, I’m not that good in Photoshop!)  Freeman Patterson often talked about sandwiching slides oh-so-many years ago when we were all doing film. And I saw and also made some pretty effective ones. But digital just seemed harder because you had to know how to use photo editing software effectively to combine things. Ah, the days of simply mounting two transparencies in one mount are gone, but I’m getting the ‘hang’ of it with the digital method.