Photographer Collects 12,000 Leaves for Hypnotic Stop-Motion Video

An incredible stop-motion video showing leaves transitioning from summer to fall has been released by a talented photographer.

Brett Foxwell, from the Bay Area, shot the incredible sequence for his film LeafPresser.

Each leaf was front-lit and back-lit, they were then assembled into sequences.

“There was such a stunningly diverse compendium of forms, shapes, and textures to be found that it began to seem as though there were an underlying visual vocabulary I could scarcely grasp,” Foxwell says.

“Each ‘word’ took hours to decode and I could only collect such a vanishingly small portion of all the leaves that I worried I would not get the whole message.

“It was so laborious a task, with only my obsession to pull me through. Finally, a light appeared at the end of the leaf tunnel, and a vision was revealed.”

LeafPresser is the second film in Foxwell’s nature trilogy. The first, Woodswimmer, focussed on hardwood, burls, and branches.

“The result is hauntingly beautiful imagery that is both abstract and unquestionably real,” he says.

“In the twisting growth rings and the swirling rays, a new universe is revealed.”

For LeafPresser, Foxwell collected over 12,000 of leaves.

“I conceived that the leaf shape every single plant type I could find would fit somewhere into a continuous animated sequence of leaves if that sequence were expansive enough,” he says.

“If I didn’t have the perfect shape, it meant I just had to collect more leaves.”

The leaves in the video haven’t been timelapsed, instead, Foxwell found different leaves that fit together in a sequence.

What is Stop-Motion Animation?

Stop motion is a technique of turning photographs into video. The photographer must take photos of an object as it moves incrementally. The pictures are then edited together to make a movie.

This technique can be done in Photoshop. It’s actually remarkable simply, the steps are as follows.

  1. Open your sequence “as layers” in Photoshop
  2. Open the Timeline Window and click “Create Frame Animation”
  3. Import your layers into the Timeline panel as individual frames
  4. Adjust the frame delay and looping settings as needed
  5. Export in whatever format you prefer

More of Foxwell’s work can be found on his website, Vimeo, and Instagram.

Image credits: All photos by Brett Foxwell.