Tom Leighton’s Fluorescent Photographs Highlight the Remarkable Complexities of Plants After Dark – Colossal

by The Insights

Science of photography

#nature #plants #Tom Leighton

April 29, 2023

Kate Mothes

All images © Tom Leighton, shared with permission

Plants are incredible reservoirs of energy,” says the photographer Tom Leighton, whose images of fluorescent-hued foliage highlight the incredible nocturnal life of plants in his Variegated series. It explores the colors and detailed textures of leaves and stems, emphasizing an important counterpart to the complex daytime process of photosynthesis, which creates chemical energy and oxygen from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. “After sunset, the process of photosynthesis stops and respiration begins,” he says. “Plants begin to burn off their stored sugars and breathe in some of the precious oxygen they have created.”

Leighton focuses primarily on species found around his native Cornwall – often in his own garden – and captures contrasting venation patterns, jagged edges and multiple colours. It digitally removes the green tones we associate with vegetation to reveal vibrant purple, pink and blue hues. “It’s very experimental…There are limitless options and techniques that I combine to arrive at each finished image,” he says, sharing that a minor color choice or a little cropping can transform the result.

Check out Leighton’s work on Behance, his website, and Instagram.

colorful leaves

A tropical plant

Serrated leaf edges.

A colored sheet.

Fine purple foliage.

#nature #plants #Tom Leighton

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