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Turning Leaves

Turning Leaves features botanical still life photography of fallen autumn leaves. You'll find the story behind the series by scrolling to the page bottom.


Turning Leaves

Turning Leaves

When my daughter was a toddler I became highly attuned to the goings-on at ground level, since she was always finding random things to eat there. One autumn day we were sitting among fallen chestnut leaves and I was struck by their resemblance to Frank Gehry’s architecture. The low autumn sun bounced off the leaves with a shimmer like burnished titanium. We gathered some leaves and brought them to my studio. I propped up the leavesand photographed them from a low angle using window light bounced off of tin foil to amplify the metallic effect. In the camera’s viewfinder the fallen leaves rose up again as *wabi sabi towers and temples.

I enjoy elevating the modest into the monumental. As Walt Whitman said, “I believe a blade of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.”

*Wabi sabi represents a comprehensive Japanese worldview or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.