Dogwood Blues

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Finally able to catch up on some commenting after getting back from 4 wonderful days in Yosemite. This spring in the valley is Glorious; never seen so much water. The waterfalls are raging as is the Merced river and the valley is aglow with dogwood and spring greens. Hung out and shot with @Harley_Goldman and former NPN’r Kyle Krause (I keep bugging him to join back up!)

And so now I have some fresh images to share. I sure hope you don’t get tired of these images from Yosemite; and especially of the dogwood… Nothing original about “dogwoods over the Merced.” The challenge - and fun, is catching these beauties in the best possible light, background and catching them with no wind…

This particular dogwood branch I’ve photographed before. This time, the angle, time of day and reflection in the river produced a lovely blue/green backdrop . I actually backed off the cyan and blue quite a bit, but didn’t want to alter the color/hue too much. Typically there’s a blue/gold reflection, but this time there was more sky reflecting than the trees and granite cliffs.

As always, all comments and suggestions welcome. Thank you!

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Processing of course.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any? Does this appeal to you?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)

Nikon D800E, Nikon 28-300mm @170mm, f/16 .8s iso 200.
cropped slightly top and bottom


It is a nice classic look at the dogwoods over the river and a classic Overacker at that. No nits here, composed and executed well.

Gorgeous and peaceful. A very fine image!

Lovely image. I like to soft background. You were fortunate not have too much wind.

Beautiful intimate, Lon. Framing looks spot-on and I like that you achieved good separation between the dogwood and Merced. Processing looks good but I would maybe experiment with cooling the color balance in the water. Sorry I couldn’t join you guys!

Good stuff, Lon. The lighting is magnificent. This has a very peaceful mood to it. The appeal for me is it’s simplicity, a classic example that less is more. Also, the flowing water with the gentle ogee curve design makes for a terrific BG. There’s something to be said about the cool blue, but with such simple image, should you so choose, you can very easily work on different options to change the look of the water, like maybe toward the warmer side of the spectrum, or even other options like luminosity. At any rate it looks like a great piece to fool around with.

Lon, I am relatively new to your Dogwood scenes and am certainly not tired of seeing them. Hard to add anything new but I also really appreciate this background color and the soft feel it provides. Very delicate and peaceful.

This has a delicate feel, reminiscent of Japanese or Chinese floral art, Lon. The tones of the river seem just right to me and the placement in the frame perfect. Only wonder whether a slight crop all round might be even stronger, but I do appreciate the need for negative space.

Another signature Lon dogwood scene. Out of the collection you’ve posted over the years I’m sure this one might be one of your best. My point there is I do not recall you having posted any that shared a over the top POV. For that reason alone I find it a bit unique. Very nice indeed…:+1:

When I saw the thumbnail I thought this might be yours, Lon. This has a wonderful delicate feel to it that is serene and inviting to the viewer; very oriental in fact. The cool OOF tones of the Merced make for the perfect canvas to showcase the delicate white flowers of the dogwood. The graceful undulations of the water also work very nicely. I was going to suggest a slightly tighter crop, but now I am not so sure. Either way this is lovely. Sounds like you guys had a blast. I look forward to more posts from your trip.

Thank you all for your kind words and comments. Much Appreciated!

@Dave_Dillemuth, @Bill_Leggett, yes, the color of the water could go in many directions. In fact Dave, my original processing had it much more cyan and more blue. I actually backed off as things start approaching that “not believable” line… The original RAW colors are warmer and of course flatter. I used a LAB Color layer to boost the colors. For me, it’s not so much the color of the water, but in keeping the dogwood blossoms clean and the branches and leaves being separated from the water.

As far as cropping @Ian_Wolfenden and @Ed_Lowe, yes, additional cropping works too. This is actually already cropped from full frame. there’s a lighter/whiter wave up top that I wanted to remove which forced a crop.

The wind - or lack there of is the biggest factor. Early in the morning is best when there is less wind in the valley in general. But also, the river itself with the massive flow creates it’s own wind. So it becomes a waiting and timing game. A longer exposure is required of course to help with the motion in the water.

Thanks again!

This is simply delightful!! Fantastic work on this. Only thing I may consider is cropping down just a bit to move the flower subject to the top right thirds intersection but to each their own! Fantastic :slight_smile:

A wonderful illustration of “Less is More”, its simple but very elegant. Another classic Overacker dogwood image.

I love the simplicity here, Lon. The color and smoothness of the water really focus your attention on the blossoms. Well done! Less is more, got you a lot!