During the autumn, for many years, I have been photographing the Tupelo tree in my front yard. The Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica) is one of the most reliable trees for fall color in Northern California, the leaves turning vivid oranges and reds.

Tupelo Leaf

I love the way this one small leaf is still hanging on. If you stare at it long enough it looks like a hole,  a teardrop window into an alternative red dimension.

Before I did my post production work, to add the contrast and pull the eye into the red, it was a rather ordinary photograph.

Before and After Slider

Certainly I took advantage of all the negative space surrounding the leaf and it was not particularly difficult to envision the more dramatic interpretation, but the most important detail was removing the water droplet on the branch beyond.

That one small drop, being bright, really upsets the composition – the eye does not want to stare into the red abyss with that speck of light drawing attention away from the center.

Before and After Slider

 A small detail, yes, but paying attention to such details can make a photograph worth studying.