Photographer Reveals the Psychedelic Beauty of Plants at Night

Plant Photography by Tom Leighton

The visual beauty of plants, especially flowers, is usually appreciated during the day. But what happens to flora at night? Artist and photographer Tom Leighton explores this idea by capturing the lives of flowers, succulents, and other plants that can only be seen with night vision.

Entitled Variegation, this name refers to the numerous colors that appear on a plant's leaves and stems, which is correlated to the amount of chlorophyll it possesses. “After the sun fades, the process of photosynthesis stops, and respiration begins,” Leighton explains on his website. “Plants begin to burn their stored sugars, assimilating some of the precious oxygen they created during the day.” Each photograph features a fluorescent-colored plant, dominated by a stunning combination of pinks, blues, and oranges.

“In darkness, growth continues, with careful calibration of the rate at which plant's fuel reserves are burnt,” he adds. “The colors I have used in this series represent the light absorbed into the plant's structure and its conversion into energy.” Leighton chooses to immerse the viewer into a close-up view of these natural wonders, ranging from an individual leaf to a shot of several blossoming flowers. As a result, the plant and its unique form, coloration, and characteristics are made center stage.

Scroll down to see more photos, and follow Leighton on Instagram to keep up to date with his latest project and upcoming exhibitions.

UK-based artist and photographer Tom Leighton examines the beauty of plants at night in a series of macro photographs.

Plant Photography by Tom Leighton

The series, called Variegation, refers to the multiple colors that appear on a plant's leaves and stems, which directly correlate to the amount of chlorophyll.

Plant Photography by Tom Leighton

These photographs feature flowers, succulents, and other plants.

Plant Photography by Tom Leighton Plant Photography by Tom Leighton Plant Photography by Tom Leighton Plant Photography by Tom Leighton Plant Photography by Tom Leighton

Tom Leighton: Website | Instagram | Facebook

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Tom Leighton.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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