The “Leaf Project” started my “White Period” of shooting objects against a white background. (That was a joke by the way! :-))

I met my friend Lynda on a weekend late November last year. I had told her I wanted to collect leaves and she was eager to join me. But where can you find them in the middle of New York City? In Central Park of course.

We met on the Upper West Side and made our way over to the park. I had a few big paper bags with me to try to get whatever I would find home undamaged. The moment we entered Central Park we were in leaf heaven.

Leaves everywhere. All these different forms and colors how exciting! I felt like a five year old kid again mesmerized by something  so utterly unimportant to an adult as a leaf. I had to think about how sad it is that we very often loose our “eyes of wonder” when we grow up because as soon as we see something we project past experiences onto it.

It is not necessary to look at a leaf because as adults we know how a leaf looks like. Over the years we have seen many of them. What could be so exciting about it? Why bother to look? I’m doing the same. Twenty years must have passed since I looked at a leaf closely and here I am in the middle of Central Park, in New York City the greatest city in the world where you can get anything you want ( as long as you have the money to pay for it) and I’m jumping up and down because I’m so excited about the leaf that I just found.

This time my search has a purpose though, I’m collecting them to take photographs. This is why I love what I do.

I would not have looked at these leaves or at the trash on Grand Street if I would not own a camera. As a matter of fact there are many things I’m not interested in at all but that completely changes when there is even the slightest chance to take photographs of them. Then I’m a child again, the excitement is back and I look at the world with eyes of wonder.

Two hours later Lynda and I were sitting at Starbucks with bags full of leaves having Soy Chai Latte. When I got back to the loft I laid them out and I must have had a few hundred of them.

Over the next couple of days I shot 34 images on film and uploaded the final 19 selects onto my website today.

“Leaves” Williamsburg/Brookly/”Leaf Project” November 2008


Please check out my website at carstenfleck.com

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