Lone leaf in the litter that carpeted the garden which isn't dessicated, brown and brittle. Love the deep red magenta color. I knew I wanted to get it sidelighted so as to bring out the textures, particularly the veins.
Gingerly washed the leaf and dried it. Placed a black felt paper on the floor. Laid the leaf on top. Placed a YN560 II about half a meter away and angled down about 30deg. Gobo-ed the top of the flash gun with a black cardboard to prevent light spill from getting into the camera lens. Set it to 1/64 power. Mounted an EF 50mm f/1.8 on the T3i. Shutter speed at 1 sec to let in a wee bit of ambient (had some warm CFLs on the ceiling). f/5.6 to get a decent depth of field (apparently insufficient since part of the image is soft!). ISO 100 to get least noise.
In post, I cropped and used luminosity masks and targeted contrast enhancements using soft light blend mode on the expanded midtones. Lightened the basic midtones with screen blend mode. Pulled down the brightness of the highlights via multiply.
I like both the horizontal and vertical versions.