Silver Lining

This is my first image captured this fall just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. I went to Graveyard Fields, expecting a grand scene with beautiful valley fog and frost mingling with the varied conifers and deciduous trees. Much to my surprise, the color had long past despite it being October 4…supposedly “on time” for this location. Diving in to one of the trails, I saw this beautiful leaf rimmed with frost.

I got as parallel as I could with the leaf, but as you all know, the very shallow DOF makes capturing these images more challenging. In order to keep the BG OOF, I shot at f/9 and captured several images moving the focus point around the sliver lining. Thinking I had done a pretty good job, I later realized that I never assured focus of the leaf body and stem itself.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Some of the body of the leaf is not in good focus…does it detract from the image

A few areas do not have sharp frost particles…deal breaker for large print?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

9 image stack; Nikkor 105mm macro; 1/13, f/9.0


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Great looking leaf and rim. At web size, the focus issues are not bothering me at all. I am finding it to be an enjoyable image.

There is some corollary to Murphy’s Law that says you will never get everything in focus no matter how carefully you stack. But here the misses are not prominent and the image is wonderful! Ice crystals like this are gorgeous and the color and textures of the leaf are great, as is the BG!

Jim: I did notice the loss of sharpness in the leaf but like Harley mentioned its not a big deal at this presentation size. I do think that if the situation was reversed with the leaf sharp and perhaps a little OOF on the rim it might work better since I see the leaf as the main subject and the rim as a supporting element. I’m reluctant to be too critical of stacking efforts since it is a skill I don’t have and haven’t pursued but this did turn out reasonably well. >=))>

Jim, this is gorgeous. And like Bill, I think the leaf is the subject, and I too am not going to be critical on stacking, since I haven’t pursued that talent yet. I am just loving the yellows and browns in the leaf, and the frost is “icing on the cake”. Nicely done.

Thanks @Harley_Goldman, @Diane_Miller…focus stacking in the field is tough!

@Bill_Fach and @Shirley_Freeman, thanks for your perspective and for stopping by to make a comment. Your comments on what is primary and secondary elements are super helpful. I think I lost the forest for the trees in this case, being so enamored with the ice crystals that I forgot the main subject!!! Back to the drawing board! Thanks again for your help!

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