Surrounded by Cedar

I have a love/hate relationship with these Blueberry Cedar Juniper trees. They are native to our area and also invasive. While they provide for the wildlife and humans, they can also be problematic. Restricting grazing land and water for wildlife and sinus problems for people. These are the only evergreen trees we have in our area so I have accepted them, but keep my distance as their foliage is brutal to maintain.

Specific Feedback Requested

In this image I am trying to convey the feeling of the contrast between the seemingly soft colorful foliage and the harshness of the spikes that lurk everywhere on these trees. I chose a close -up as opposed to the whole tree, to emphasize the complexity these native Cedars.
Does any of this work for you? Any other suggestions, comments and thoughts are welcome. Thanks.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Cropped to 50% of original, LR dehazed berry, added vignetting. PS; use luminosity mask to darken some hot spots
Nikon D7200, f/11, 1/30sec., iso 320, 70-300mm @ 200mm.

I like the nice close view of the spiky branch, Linda. The one thing that bothers me is the out of focus foreground branch that blurs the lower let corner. I think if you’d tied that out of the way you’d have a stronger image. When I’m going out to do macro, I try to remember to take something along to move unwanted foliage, preferably without damaging it.

Linda, I agree with @Dennis_Plank’s comments. I do like how you included the one Blueberry, which I am sure the birds are attracted to, in this image of the evergreen. I find that some clothes pens, glued together (facing opposite directions, can be useful for penning a limb back, and usually does no lasting damage, so I carry some of them in the pocket of my photography vest. Sometimes I get so involved in the shot, that I forget to use them though, and kick myself later when I realize that something was in the way after all. Sounds like you can go back though on this one, since it is an evergreen in your area.

@Dennis_Plank and @Shirley_Freeman this is a fantastic idea to carry twine or clothes pins to secure loose stems, twigs or whatever. I’ve added these to my day bag already. I will say in this particular case the trees are on the side of our property, but this tree is about 7’ tall and I have to balance on a rocky ledge to see the berries. This is why I used my longer lens to get closer. But I do appreciate both of your points about the blurred foliage in the lower portion of the photo. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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@Shirley_Freeman I like that clothespin idea. Thanks! One item I carry is a commercial product called Gear Ties made by Nite Ize. They’re basically a rubber coated wire that stays flexible and can be twisted around themselves. Great for all kinds of things, but a lot more expensive than clothespins.


I will have to pretty much echos the thoughts of @Dennis_Plank and @Shirley_Freeman about the OOF limb. The great thing is that you can reshoot this as it is in your yard. I usually carry some masonry twine, but do not have to use it very often as I can usually get my brother to hold back the offending foliage. :laughing: I do think this is worth reshooting as I do like the idea and the story that goes with it.


Linda, I like the intimacy of this view. The berry stands out well in all of the green and the spikiness (maybe a new word… :grinning:) of the foliage shows well. My feeling about the oof branch in the lower left is that the problem is because it doesn’t completely cover that corner. If it did that, there’d be a nice sense of peering through dense foliage at this hidden berry. While I don’t carry specific items for interfering foliage, routinely use local items, like a small stick, that I use to adjust the surroundings for photographic purposes. The blue/green color combo works very well here.

Thanks Mark. Really good point you make about making the OOF LLC blurry also. I did a quick edit in LR using the adjustment brush with texture, clarity and sharpness pulled as far to left as it would allow.

I think this is definitely better. Thanks again.