I'm not gonna write about life and death this time; this is supposed to be an art related community, not a phylosophic or mystical one.
I'm gonna write about the process of taking a photo like this:
This is not just looking at your feet, seeing something, shooting with the cellphone and submitting... Maybe you won't believe it, and maybe the final result isn't worth it, but this one took me weeks!
First of all, and that's true in this case, was a chance discovery: Several months ago, while waiting for my daughter at her schoolyard, just looked to my feet and saw some leafy imprints in the concrete. One of them was clean enough to distinguish even the tree where the leaf came from, as the school is sorrounded by a park full of trees.
I took a quick shot with my cell phone, yes, just for reference, and started to work...
First of all was the light, as I had no control about the leaf orientation. The imprint was clear but very subtile, so I decided a strong shadowing was needed to enhance the bas-relief: So, direct sunlight, coming from the left if this could be, and, as the motif was "lying" on the floor, as flush as possible.
Well, east and west light was blocked by trees, buildings and the school itself. So, to get the lowest midday sun I had to wait... until the closest days to winters solstice, hadn't I?
But the school is open just ten to fifhteen minutes at noon, for some kids to go out home fur lunch. I could have asked the janitor to let me in some time before noon, but, he just moved to another school, and I had no confidence enough with the new one. Damn it!
So, I had to wait for a winter's sunny day, the closer to the solstice the better, and take the photo in ten minutes or less...
The school was closed all Christmas long, so I had to wait for the hollydays to end... and then came the mist.
It's easy to get a sunny winter's day here; we got direct sunlight most of days. But when the river's mist arises... forget about it for a couple of weeks or more!
At least I could think about the image composition leisurely: 4x3? Square? Centered or displaced? I had not much time to try out in a ten minutes or less session, so I needed a clear idea of the wanted final result.
Finally I decided to try a classical yet effective composition in a 4x3 frame, with the leaf displaced following the principle of thirds. I wanted to include the crack, to add some more information to the image, but I felt it too empty yet (horror vacui?). I thought about adding some dead leaves to make counterpoint with the main subject; even picked up some in the neighboring park, just in case they were not at hand at the time of taking the picture.
Last week, finally, the sun showed its face through the mist again. I forgot the picked leaves, but I asked for help to my daughter and one of her classmates, and they merrily gathered a couple of handfuls of leaves.
I had time to shoot thrice, and in one of the photos someone crossed his or her shadow over the framing.
After that, some lightroom adjustments and... Ta-Da!
I'm quite pleased with the result, but yours is the answer about whether it was worth it or not.