For some people, autumn leaves may signify an end to the circle of life. For me, I see the colors of autumn as being a great
of life. As such, autumn is my favorite season. Crisp days combined with an incredible array of changing colors...
a visual cornucopia and musical symphony wrapped-up into one. As an artist, what more could I ask for!

The photograph featured in this SPOTLIGHT is one of my most popular images. People from all walks of life have told me
how much they like it. Why do you suppose that is? Let's go inside the image and attempt to understand the reasons.
To begin with, the photograph is an incredibly colorful representation of nature. Most people see in color, and a visual work
of art which stimulates the color receptors of human vision is one that will get attention. Could this be the only reason? I don't
believe so. We need to look a bit closer.

Actually, the word "closer" is quite apropos for this image. It is, after all, a close-up photograph of nature. While scenic
photographs are equally appreciated by the public, this particular image is perhaps a bit easier to navigate and therefore
appreciate. That's because it is simplified and self-contained. It has been whittled-down to the barest essentials. It is nothing
more than a few colorful autumn leaves against a bed of green grass. Or is it?

Regardless of the medium, most true works of art are far more complicated than they appear. In fact, it is a compliment to the
artist if they seem relatively simple in their presentation. In the case of this photograph, there are several very important
ingredients which came together in order to create the image.

First of all, it had rained the night before and the remaining droplets of water on the vegetation helped to saturate the colors
and provide them with a pleasing luster. Second, the light was slightly overcast which resulted is an evenly lit scene void of
any harsh highlights or dark shadows.

As far as the composition is concerned, there is a balanced harmony between the primary cluster of leaves on the left and
the solitary yellow leaf on the right. The composition is further enhanced by the blade of green grass which cuts diagonally
through the leaves. Usually, an object that cuts diagonally through the primary subject in an image can be very distracting.
In this case, however, I feel that it actually helps to tie the composition together, making it visually stronger.

What I just described are some of the more obvious elements which, collectively, make-up the image. There is, however,
something even more important for us to consider, and it is this. If we recall grade school science class, the vibrant colors
contained in autumn leaves are actually present months before during the difficult, stifling heat of summer. They were simply
concealed by the green color of chlorophyll.

Therefore, perhaps the greatest lesson to be learned from an image such as this is that a beautiful and colorful celebration
of life may be hiding before our very eyes at any moment...waiting to be revealed...urging us to be patient and keep the faith.

And so, think of this photograph as a visual metaphor for the difficult times we've all been going through. Colorful and glorious
days are ahead! Something to keep in mind while an altogether different type of "chlorophyll" is clouding our vision. 
Inside the Image
Photography and Text By Douglas Schwartz
Artwork featured in this SPOTLIGHT © copyright Douglas Schwartz. All rights reserved.
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