on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Leaf Stories

Sara Harley

Sara Harley

Sara Harley is a photographic artist living on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Sara creates images to illustrate a range of emotions, from dark and brooding to light and inspirational. Her work has been published in several books and magazines, and a book cover for Margaret Atwood.


Sara Harley 4x4

For the past 18 months, I have been walking and photographing our local trails in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada and call my project Trailings (read her full article here). Trailings are defined as "to mark out, to track, to tread down or make a path through grass or the like". I leave no evidence on the trails I have tread. Instead, the trailings of my walks leave a path through my mind, opening it up to possibilities, creativity, and positivity.

Walking with my camera is my therapy, used as a means of processing and overcoming life's challenges. I use my camera as a tool, and I tell stories through pictures. By observing small details in the world around me, my mind empties of its problems.

I will be exhibiting this project in April 2021, and these four images are part of that exhibit. A solitary leaf plays the lead in these photographs. Put together, they tell different stories...pictorialising the day to day struggles all of us face throughout our lives.

Suspended Animation Sara Harley

Suspended Animation
A sudden drop in temperature froze these leaves and grasses in place....a moment in time suspended. All of us face times like this in our lives. Tragedy strikes when we least expect it, and we are overcome, our lives suspended for a time while we process and find the strength to carry on.

Last Teardrop Sara Harley

Last Teardrop
My biggest hope for my photographs is that they evoke an emotion. Some people prefer to view happy images. But life isn't always happy, is it? I created this image in recognition that not all days are happy days. Standing in the cold December rain, I spotted a lone leaf. I waited, and waited until finally a large drop formed on the branch and I took my photo. I captured the feeling I wanted to convey, and that is true happiness for this photographer.

Balancing Act Sara Harley

Balancing Act
A simple minimalist photograph...or is it? Defined by a few pine needles, a sole leaf and a solid rock background, in my view, this is a metaphor for life.

Last One Standing Sara Harley

Last One Standing
A solitary leaf can tell many different stories. This leaf evokes a totally different feeling for me than Last Teardrop (opposite page). In contrast to the seed pods that were hanging down and looking dejected and forlorn, the one remaining leaf was pointed straight up, seemingly standing proud in its achievement. The golden glow of the lone leaf stood out in the otherwise gloomy scene.

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