This was an HDR shot to capture various shades of light and to focus stack the close-up leaf against the distant clouds.
My wife and I travelled to Vermont to photograph the fall colors. She showed me some really colorful maple leaves that she had collected. When I saw the leaves, it gave me the idea for this image. I drove to a scenic overlook for an early morning sunrise. I positioned my vehicle facing the sunrise. My wife strategically placed the leaf on the windshield, and I shot the photo through it. The hardest part of capturing this image was repeatedly chasing down the leaf after it blew away and repositioning it. The other key to this photo was an exceptionally clean windshield. I also learned that the steering wheel can be used as a tripod in a pinch.