The Northern Daily Leader photographer Gareth Gardner is bringing a series of galleries to readers. The galleries and accompanying story will range in subjects and will include anecdotes from his photography career through to tips and tricks on how to get the perfect photo. Oh, and he'll cover the weird and wonderful in between so you never know what you'll get from this series.
This week, it's back to where it all pretty well started for me as a young aspiring whipper-snapper (pun intended), taking photos with an old 35mm Pentax SLR of coloured leaves in mum's backyard.
One photo in particular stands out, it's a photo of a leaf I took in 2001.
Armed with a spray bottle, a desk lamp, SLR camera and a heart full of inspiration from the Australian Photography magazine, I set off.
I was on the search for the perfect Autumn leaf to take back to my makeshift studio which consisted of a table and bed sheet strung across my bedroom.
It wasn't flash (pun intended), but it worked.
I chose a leaf - tore it from its home to be used for a higher purpose - lightly misted it with water, directed my desk lamp, dialled in my aperture and shutter speed, then fired away.
I was gobsmacked about a week later after getting the photos developed to find the leaf looked better than I remembered. Rich colours and sharp detail on every water droplet.
I was a bit like a mad photography scientist screaming over the photo, "LOOK WHAT I HAVE CREATED MWAHAHA!"
That day especially, locked in photography as a life long love and today I got to relive some of that memory searching for the perfect leaf. Perfect to me.