Thursday Salute to Originals: Strange Leaves

“With man gone, will there be hope for Gorilla?” Daniel Quinn, Ishmael.

What will be left behind if humans aren’t around anymore? Spanish photographer and digital artist Al Mefer shows us his version of a post-human, post-apocalyptic scene in the photo series Strange Leaves. By shifting the color palettes of images of tropical plants, Mefer creates a startlingly realistic portrait of what could be Earth after people have left for good.

Without manipulation, the scenes Mefer captures are quite beautiful already, filling each frame with ferns and palm branches that already appear exotic.

The shifted hues elevate this work through color, adding emotion and interest. The images become bizarre and attention grabbing, even unsettling. When observed in context Mefer’s other recent works, the bizarre leaves become part of a bigger story.

“This series follows my previous ones: Alien Architecture, The Human-Alien Barrier and Deserts of the Future, in developing a kind of pseudo-documentary in which humans have left the Earth because of the current environmental and social issues we’re facing,” said Mefer in an interview with

You can find the other series mentioned above on Mefer’s website.

This Thursday, we’re saluting Al Mefer and his Strange Leaves. Whether you see a post-disaster planet, a distant world, or just beautiful foliage, this work spins our current reality to invite questions about the future.

Sources: Al Mefer, This is Colossal