One thing that I find very useful is to photograph my trees on a regular basis. This allows me to see how the trees progress over time and lets me photographically change the images to see if a better design emerges from the image manipulations.
A series of pictures to illustrate how the design might change after playing with image manipulations.
The Ficus benghalensis as it looked some years back, straight trunk and large leaves
Using some heavy wire the trunk was bent to create some movement in the trunk
The tree partially defoliated as it looks today
With Photoshop one section of the tree was removed. Is it a better desgn?
Yet, another piece is removed graphically. Is this one better?
Ficus or figs are in a large family of plants showing many interesting and varied characteristics.
One of the most interesting aspects of various figs is the leaf. Leaves can be large, smooth or hairy, glossy or dull and have many, many other variations.
The photo below shows some fig leaves and their variation. The size of the leaves varies from 7″ to about 1″ on the right. All can be used for bonsai of various sizes depending on how much the leaves can reduce with proper culture and care.
Fig leaves from the left are benghalensis, ingens, religiosa, microcarpa and salicaria