Bioluminescent Leaf


Often I am surprised at the intricate details that my camera has picked up but I miss while scanning the scene in the field. In this example of a leaf frozen in time, there are hundreds of these tiny air bubbles that got frozen just above the leaf. They have this interesting bioluminescent quality to them. Then there are the veins of the leaf which branch out like they are filled with that special dye the doctors fill you with when you get an MRI. A smaller leaf on the bottom right appears to be another casualty of winter’s cold dead grasp.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Single exposure handheld using the Sony a1 with FE 24-105 lens.


This does have an interesting texture with the combination of the frozen bubbles and the leaf veins. The watery(?) edge on the left is a nice counterpoint to the rest of the frame. I feel winter’s icy grip.

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What a moody image Alfredo. I love the blues throughout, mixed with a few earthy browns. The veins of the leaves and the frozen air bubbles are amazing. I love how the frozen water in the left portion of the frame partially envelopes the main leaf by going over the top of a portion of it and then falling off the edge and going underneath it. This is well seen and composed.

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Thank you Bonnie! I appreciate your comments especially about feeling winter’s icy grip.

Thank you David! Happy to hear you enjoyed exploring the image. That section of frozen water was an important element and glad you noticed it.

Beautifully seen and captured, Alfredo. Really nice image with lots of little details that keep you engaged. Nicely done.

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Many thanks J Fritz!

A simply stunning image Alfredo. Wonderful.

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Beautiful. Love the colors and the fine details of the texture. This is striking.

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Thanks so much David!

Thank you Nichole! This past winter was incredibly productive for me. I was so fascinated by ice patterns.

I love the deep, rich blues….a real stunner! I’m curious as to what post processing you may have done?

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Thank you Pat! This scene was in shade so the RAW file had a cooler temp already. I did bring down the Temp slider in Lightroom a bit to further enhance the cooler tones. The bulk of the editing was done in Photoshop and consisted of dodging and burning to bring out the highlights in the trapped bubbles and the veins in the main leaf. I also cloned out a few distractions. Then final exposure bump and darkening some of the brighter rocks around the leaf.

Hi Alfredo, gorgeous how the light seems to radiate from the image and those cool blue variations are marvelous: truly icy! The contrast in textures between the sheet of frozen water on the left, smooth and “feelingless” like metal, and the thousand pins of light like a starfield on the leaf is so interesting, and the pebbles showing through below give an added dimension. The image feels a bit heavy downwards to me. Perhaps a crop of the bottom could be attempted ? (though it’s a tough decision to cut off the lovely detail of the leaf bottom which looks like a delicate butterfly’s wing.) The white patch just above the stem of the main leaf is bit distracting to me and am not sure about the orange pebble showing through the upper part of the leaf. Cloning these out may enhance the abstract quality of the image (if that is where you want to take it)?

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Thank you Laura! All great suggestions! I debated whether to crop off the bottom. As you mentioned I didn’t want to lose the curved bottom of the leaf.