Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Beauty in decay by Howard Zehr

"I enjoy doing photographic portraits; in fact, portraits are central to a number of my books. I'm especially drawn to the intimacy of a close portrait - the textures, the individuality, the signs of a life lived apparent in a face.

Several years ago I set out to so something similar, but with leaves - to create "leaf portraits." I wanted to explore the individuality, the scars of life, the personality of individual leaves. Rather than seek "perfect" specimens at the peak of their growth, I watched for autumn leaves with personality, leaves that showed signs of having lived and now moving toward "death." Most came from my own yard.
Now in my late 60s, I have a also become interested in the aging of my own body and began to explore that photographically. In doing so, I was increasingly aware of the parallels with the aging of the leaves I had photographed.
In this project, I explore the parallels between the two - aging leaves and my aging body.
The leaf portraits were made in the studio, with a setup somewhat similar to what I would use for a person. However, except for occasional reflected fill light, these leaves are backlit. They are in fact transparencies; we are viewing them from the front."

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