Dogwood Blossom

Image Description

This dogwood is at the edge of the woods right behind my house. It is wild, in that I didn’t plant it. It was there when we built the house. When the moon is full and the dogwood is in bloom, the reflect light is so bright that it illuminates the inside of the house through the windows. I have tired and failed on several occasion to capture the beauty of this scene by camera. I have determined that to capture the photo I envision will require climbing a ladder at night. So, I may never get the photo I want. This is my best, so far, to capture a very small portion of the tree.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.

  • Conceptual: Feedback on the message and story conveyed by the image.

  • Emotional: Feedback on the emotional impact and artistic value of the image.

  • Technical: Feedback on the technical aspects of the image, such as exposure, color, focus and reproduction of colors and details, post-processing, and print quality.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

Overall, how would you judge this photo?

Can you share your thoughts on the placement of the subject in space, flow of the subject, level of detail in the blossoms?

All critique is welcomed.

Technical Details

Canon 5D Mark IV | ef100mm Macro | f32 | 1/60s | ISO 100 | Flash w/Soft-box
ACR, Photoshop, Topaz Sharpen


Gorgeous!! I think this is much more effective than trying for the whole tree – but the idea of moonlight on it is mesmerizing! I’m hoping I might get to see it in a few months…

For me, the contrast is a bit higher than I care for with flowers, but all a matter of artist’s choice.

As someone who’s 5 feet tall, I’ve actually wondered if I could drill a hole in the top of a ladder and fasten a stud to screw a tripod head on. (Well, yes, I know I could – but how nuts would I have to be to actually try to use it once I did it?)

Dave, I think this is a really great image. It is sharp and the highlights are brilliant and still maintain detail. The blank and white treatment is perfect. You don’t need any more than this to show us the brilliance and beauty of these dogwoods. Bob Engle

Hi David, I’ve mentioned in another post that I’m not the expert on more formal photographs such as this (plant/flower portraits I suppose?) but I’ll try :slight_smile:

I think it’s really professionally done and the fact that it’s under moonlight only adds to the intruige. The composition is perfect and the only thing I might suggest (which maybe personal taste) is cropping in a tiny bit from the right side for balance. That’s probably just me though.

Regarding competitions, in the context of the NLPA as a landscape photography competition, more formal flower, photos such as this are quite competitive and they tend not to bring something new or novel to the viewer so images that would tend to do well would be something where you can see a hint of the moon in the background for instance or a really low key landscape behind the flowers. i.e. things that integrate into the landscape or that show a novel way of representing a more common view.

This doesn’t take away from an image that looks as good as any Ansel Adams photograph of a similar subject and the face that as a fine art black and white print I’m sure it would do amazingly well commercially!

Hi Tim,

Thank you for your comments. I agree that the composition has been done many times and isn’t novel. But, your comments have given me some ideas on how compose this photo differently when it starts to bloom in the next few weeks.

I agree

Thank you @Diane_Miller and @robert21 for you kind comments. It’s always nice to hear.

Diane, thank you for the idea of attaching my ball head to the ladder. I hadn’t considered that option. Here I was trying to figure out how to secure my entire tripod to a ladder.

An easier possibility might be to drill the stud through a piece of 2x6, where the bolt head could be countersunk and glued in, and clamp the wood to the top of the ladder. I think I’ll try that.

We can text one another from the emergency room…

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i love black and white photography. This is a simple beautiful shot !!! The top leaf is really nice … on my lap top it seems to have more detail and contrast. Really nice photograph …

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