All images © John Watson

20 June 2016


“In an idle moment a discovery is made… the beauty and intricacy of a silver birch leaf becomes clear when the sun illuminates it from the behind. The details that are revealed are quite breathtaking.


After admiring the complex network of veins, used to transport water and carbohydrates around the leaf, it doesn’t feel quite right to remove it from the tree.


Instead, I wait for a lull in the late afternoon breeze and do my best to photograph it while still attached to its host.


To me, that’s my role as a photographer – to capture the beauty of nature without interfering with it. Somehow I feel better knowing that small leaf is still there, making food for it’s tree as it was designed to do.


As someone with an interest in photography, I like to think I understand light, and the effect it has on everything around us, but I didn’t think about how it might transform my view of that small silver birch leaf.


This discovery has made me realise that sometimes the best way to understand what’s around you is to slow down and start noticing the details, and then you become aware of a whole new world.


And now it seems to me that my lens is a microscope, and I can point it at anything to see fantastic details.

Then I move the camera away from my eye-line and realise I can still see this new world with nothing but my own eyes… I just never really looked before.