Random Sights and Diversions

Photography Media Reviews Commentary

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Larch

Larch. Nikon D7100. 50 mm. ISO 400. 1/1250 sec at f/2.8. Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

Larch. Nikon D7100. 50 mm. ISO 400. 1/1250 sec at f/2.8. Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

I think the larch is one of the most photogenic of trees. It presents some very nice (and varied, depending on viewpoint) textures. A member of the pine family, the larch is actually deciduous and loses it’s leaves (needles) over the winter. The fine and lace-like appearance belies the fact the larch is one of the sturdiest woods for building.

Note the wide open aperture used in this shot. There was plenty of good light to work with (see the very fast shutter), so a much smaller lens would have been possible. A smaller aperture would have brought more of the larch branches into sharper focus. I think that would have had a different look. I like the background out of focus and the very excellent bokeh.

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Patterns in Trees

Untitled (Tree Branches Hanging). Fuji X100. 23 mm. ISO 400. 1/450 sec at f/11. Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

Untitled (Tree Branches Hanging). Fuji X100. 23 mm. ISO 400. 1/450 sec at f/11. Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

I’m interested in images that reveal the patterns in nature, but showing them in different or unfamiliar ways. This image of hanging tree branches has been manipulated hardly at all, but I think we rarely focus in so specifically on the branches in this way. There is also a certain seasonal independence in this image. And from a mathematical viewpoint, the tree branch patterns in the image have a fractal – and thus universal – quality. (What part of the tree are we actually looking at? And, are the branches actually hanging?)

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Spring Pink III

Spring Pink III. Four One Four Challenge May Week Three. Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

Spring Pink III. Four One Four Challenge May Week Three. Copyright Joanne Mason 2015.

This is week three of the May One Four Challenge, where we produce four different edits of an image on successive weeks of the month. See Captivate Me by Robyn G for more information on the One Four Challenge.

I am really pleased with this week’s edit, which I think catches the feel of an image that I’ve had in my mind’s eye. The soft painterly style goes well with the flowers. This started with pretty much the same image as the original two weeks ago – Read More

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Larch Bough

Larch Bough. Nikon D200. Micro-Nikkor 105mm Macro. ISO 200. 1/125 sec at f/11. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Larch Bough. Nikon D200. Micro-Nikkor 105mm Macro. ISO 200. 1/125 sec at f/11. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

The larch tree is a deciduous conifer. Though a cone-bearning tree with needles, it loses it’s needles in the fall. I’m fond of larches. The needles are relatively short and born densely. The result is a fine and delicate appearance.

Although at first glance, this image looks almost like a winter scene, in fact the image was shot in summer against a dense green background. Infrared processing allows concentrating on the single bough and its branches and cones. (An earlier version of this image is here.)

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Evolution (Tree)

Evolution. Nikon D200. 35 mm. ISO 200. 1/250 sec at f/6.7. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Evolution. Nikon D200. 35 mm. ISO 200. 1/250 sec at f/6.7. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

I’ve had this tree on the computer for a while and have tried a number of different approaches to processing it. None quite did what I wanted, and yet something but this tree appealed to me and urged me to keep working on it. I’ve settled on this infrared processing which seem to emphasize the fine and detailed structure of the tree. The title “Evolution” has two connotations. I think of this tree as having to be – like any organic being – the result of millions of generations of evolution. The structure of the limbs and successively fine branches and foliage also look to me like  a map of the many branches of the evolutionary “tree” converging to create this magnificent entity.

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Red Tree

Red Tree. Fuji X100. 23 mm. ISO 500. 1/60 sec at f/9. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Red Tree. Fuji X100. 23 mm. ISO 500. 1/60 sec at f/9. Copyright Joanne Mason 2014.

Maurice Denis, writing in 1942 about the post-impressionist artist Paul Gauguin (in ABC de la peinture, by Paul Sérusier), wrote:

“How do you see those trees?” asked Gauguin; “If they are yellow, then make them yellow; and that bluish shadow, paint it with pure ultramarine; and those red leaves? Use vermilion.”

For the vermillion leaves, he may have had in mind this tree in autumn. (Click image for larger.)

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