green leafed tree
Photo by veeterzy on

Taking a photo of a “tree” or a “leaf” can be fun. I think, in this list, when it says a “tree” or a “leaf”, that perhaps they mean: 1 tree, and 1 leaf, I’m not sure. So, looking at the photo above, the artist took a photo of just one tree, and you can tell it is the main subject, but, it is obvious, it is also in a forest. Let’s work toward the tree or leaf being the main subject.

Typically when you see a photo of just a tree, it is in the scene as a “negative space” object. Such as this:

full moon on a daybreak
Photo by David Besh on

This tree, although mostly bare, is a great subject in this photo, especially because of the silhouette feature of this photo. I, too, have taken a photo like that:

Photo by Lanny Cottrell for 123PhotoGo

This is one good way to take a photo of just One tree. At sunset time. I have seen some other great photos of just a single tree, but, during the day, and with emphasis on the tree:

green tree near green plants
Photo by mali maeder on

If your tree has something unique to it, then focus on that uniqueness. Like the photo above, we don’t see much of the tree at all, but that lichen on the tree makes for an interesting subject.

Now let’s take a look at taking photos of a leaf:
purple leaf
Photo by Pixabay on

Taking a photo of a leaf works a lot like taking a photo of a tree. If there is something unique about the leaf, then get in close and capture that uniqueness, even if you help create it. The other times that you see a lot of “leaf” pictures is in the fall, when the color is in the leaf:

brown leaf
Photo by hiwa talaei on

There is a lot of color in just a fall leaf. But, do you find that boring? How about we put some action to a leaf:

leaf floating on body of water
Photo by Cole Keister on

See if you can give some special background to a leaf, to make it more of an interesting photo.

Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash ——– Was inspired to shoot this after seeing the contrast that this leaf created. It led me to the conclusion that we manifest all the good that comes into our lives. We light the way. We infuse all the beautiful colors into our reality.
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash ——- I like this photo of this leaf because, it is obvious that it is still on the tree. This leaf is “alive”

Try several things with a leaf, again, with a background to compliment it:

Photo by Omid Armin on Unsplash


When taking a photo of either a tree or a leaf, look to add a little extra into the photo for background, but, don’t make it so busy that you lose sight of what the subject is. These kind of photos you see above, are the type of photos that will sell.


Photo provided by Library of Congress

Definition of “Nostalgic” = feeling or inspiring nostalgia: such as. a : longing for or thinking fondly of a past time or condition!

This subject today requires some “digging in to the past”. Such as:

  • Places you’ve been
  • Things you have done
  • People you remember
  • Objects from a certain period of time
  • Good memories with friends
  • Finding things that bring back memories

One of the interesting things my wife and I like to do, is to go for a “photographic drive” to places unknown, old towns that are small, and the old buildings and places of old are still there, never to be torn down for a long time.

And one this type of situation, for nostalgic sake, to make it look like I took a picture of this barn from it’s early years, we do it in a black and white photo:

Part of the fun things you can do to take pictures of old buildings that are still currently standing is to reproduce them in monochromatic, sepia tone, or straight black and white. It will look like you took the picture around 100 years ago.

Looking at the list above of things that are nostalgic, one thing that is always fun to find, is cameras, old things you used to take pictures of. If you kept any old cameras, use your new camera and take pictures of your old equipment. People will be amazed at how far it has come, or not come:

The most popular camera that Polaroid ever made: The “One Step” camera. Sold for $29.95 about 30 years ago. Take the picture, the photo comes out the front, and you get to watch it develop right before your eyes.
A picture of the Pentax K1000 camera. Probably used by more students in their photography class than any other camera. This camera was totally manual, no automation at all. Just a good basic manual camera that took great pictures.

You know it’s fun to go down memory lane. If you went on short vacations up in the mountains, or out to the beach, what kind of photo would you take to bring back those memories?

Photo by Devon Hawkins on Unsplash

Get back to the places that brought you good memories if you can, take a picture of someone looking at the same things you used to do. Then reflecting on that person, seeing the same thing you used to do, will be a great photo for nostalgia.

Now, if you have a chance to get together with friends you grew up with, and have a photo of all of you now, how wonderful would that be?

men s white button up dress shirt
Photo by Helena Lopes on

If you cold ever go back to a place that you loved, but, it’s been a long time ago, what would you take pictures of? Probably the beach where you played, the park you used to go to, or the buildings around where you lived. Those are some photos to take again, now, that you are a photographer:

lovely elderly couple
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on

Getting a picture of “Grandma and Grandpa” is something that will be nostalgic in just a few short years. Get the memories of your family.

Photo by Kyle McEvoy on Unsplash

Nothing brings a sense of nostalgia than visiting places you would go to as a child. Take a picture of it so you can bring back memories of it whenever you want to think about your past.

Now, just for fun, click on this link: nostalgic…… And notice all the fun things that Amazon lists as nostalgic :

Just click on this link: nostalgic, and see all the fun things still available from your past.

51 subjects on photography, and I am going to do them all.


brown mountains
Photo by Roberto Nickson on

Day Six: “Landscape” — Crop Your Image

Today, let’s walk in the footsteps of masters like Ansel Adams and focus on landscape photography.

Landscapes generally focus on wide, vast depictions of nature and all of its elements, from formations to weather. In this genre of photography, you won’t find much of a human presence: nature itself is the subject. A focus on nature isn’t mandatory, however — you can also capture a sweeping panorama of a city.

Today, take a picture of a landscape. Focus on the gestalt — the entire setting as a whole, like the shot above of the English countryside in Kent — rather than a specific subject or focal point within the scene. The setting itself is the star.

Today’s Tip: You may have trained your eye to crop your photo while viewing it “in camera.” But if not, crop your landscape photo once it’s uploaded onto your computer, using a free image editor like PicMonkey or Pixlr.

We hope you’re having fun scouting and taking your landscape photos! If you’re looking for inspiration, take a peek at the landscapes of nature photographer Kerry Mark Leibowitz. Her shots of national parks in North America are stunning.

Ready to crop your photo? Sift through your images from today’s shoot and find a candidate that needs cropping. Or, if you come up empty, look back to previous shots from the course or pick an image from your Media Library.

Things to look for:

  • Stray objects in the background, near the frame’s edges and corners.
  • People around the perimeter that have “photo-bombed” your picture.
  • A foreground or background that is too prominent or “heavy.”
  • A composition that is too-centered (with your subject in the middle), that might benefit from cropping along two sides (in other words, cropping to the Rule of Thirds).
Cropping the right side of today's landscape image in PicMonkey.
Cropping the right side of today’s landscape image in PicMonkey.

There are many tools available for free on your computer or even on your phone. If you have something in the photo that you really don’t want, use these tools to crop off what you don’t want. It will make a better photograph.

Your city might make a beautiful landscape picture. Look for the best angle to get the best part of your city.

All this week, the series continues: Developing your eye. Read these articles carefully to learn what you need to “see” better photos.

Many times professional photographers prefer to use Wide Angle lenses (click on that link to see what is available for your camera) to get the best landscape photos.