It’s so easy to be impressed with the brilliant flowers in Hawaii that the tropical foliage is overlooked. Flowers usually stand as individual subjects while foliage forms patterns. Foliage patterns call for close cropping to remove distracting surroundings. Usually there is no need for elaborate processing of the images, but sometimes posterization can be used to strengthen the patterns.
This mixed group of yellow and red foliage with a few hydrangea was in parking lot on Hawaii’s Big Island. Close cropping conceals the location.
A large flower pot with a colorful leafy plant was nearby. The leaves are each about eight inches across, but there are few clues to the scale. Patterns don’t need scale. I made the image slightly darker to strengthen the colors.
Not all foliage patterns are colorful. Here, the swirling patterns are three dimensional as well.
I had trouble getting all the leaves in focus. Posterization reduces the color space for graphic effect. We have a tutorial on the subject, but you can just play with the technique. In Photoshop™ it’s filters > adjustments > posterization. I used four bits. Usually four or five bits works best.
Posterization adds so much to the contrast that sometimes it’s best to lower the contrast of the original image before posterizing. This image has too much in dark areas to posterize well.
I lightened the shadows before posterizing,
Most of the trick in capturing interesting images of foliage patterns is seeing the opportunities. The photography is straightforward. Posterization is a one-click operation in Photoshop that’s worth a try.