I will admit that I have a love/hate relationship with seasonal photography. If you were to do a keyword search on any given season – autumn, perhaps – one would be bombarded with hundreds of photos that seem to portray the same thing: Leaves change colors. Maybe I take it all for granted as I grew up in such a climate that has seasons, but the typical seasonal photo neglects the fact that one must create a compelling and balanced photo. But I’m not hear to speak about the typical photo. I’m here to share with you an inspired and well planned photo, Textures d’automne / Autumn Textures by Maxime Bergeron.
As much as I might rant about typical autumn shooting, I must admit that I look for photos like Autumn Textures. To me, such a photo tells me that the photographer – in this case, Bergeron – has made efforts to be unique. Bergeron has gone against the grain here and has only featured two leaves on a cold, hard surface. It’s a nod to the season, of course, the only time of year that one would find a red maple leaf. But his choice of backdrop and the isolation of these two leaves suggests a comment from our artist’s mind: Cold, desolate times are ahead.
I greatly enjoy the texture of the stone in this shot. It is rough and rich in detail, yet there is enough evidence to indicate that this was a human-cut stone, perhaps a cap stone of a wall or a granite step. The use of a non-direct light source helps to exsentuate this texture. But there is another benefit as well: Shadow control. Not much of the shadow is plainly visible in the shot, but there is enough to affect one’s perception of the leaves. The red maple leaf appears delicate, carefully poised above the stone. Pay particular attention to the shadow under the right lobe. It is a soft cushion to the leaf.
Maxime Bergeron’s Flickr photostrem features a number of photos of varying subjects – some close-up studies like this one, others much more complex. I admire his style which can be characterized through his use of rich, warm and muted colors. You would do yourself a favor if you were to spend time with his photostream and subscribe to his updates.