Winter Red Bud + Rework

REWORK (added soft pop filter, dodged darker background branches a bit):


The seed pods of red buds hang on well after the leaves have fallen. This is the red bud in our back yard. I realized that I’d photographed this particular branch in the spring, when it was covered with their lovely pink flowers. I’m thinking I need to do a series on our red bud through the seasons.

Specific Feedback Requested

Any comments welcome. I blurred the background a bit more than as shot to further dial back the branches. I also dialed back the green in the background - it’s so green this time of year, it looks more like classic spring than winter. There’s a lot of space in the lower left quadrant, but I didn’t want to crop more because I didn’t want to lose that curvy branch in the upper left quadrant. Does it feel like too much space in the lower left?

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
a7r3, 186mm, f/5.6, 1/30s.

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The crop works for me, Bonnie. The space helps with the somber mood of the season, at least for me. Also like how you’ve handle the background, which makes the red buds pop! Nicely done.

oooh I like this a lot, Bonnie! Well spotted. The background treatment worked well to simplify it more. I had a go with it in Photoshop because I couldn’t resist -

Removed the branch in the lower right…tried my best to clean up remnants
Added a Soft Pop filter with the TK Panel and lowered the fill to 15% and the Opacity to 89%. It still might be a little strong, but you could play with it.

What a beauty!

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Very cool image, Bonnie. I really like the sense of complexity behind the simplicity of the foreground.

Bonnie, the focus on the seed pods and the fine curve of the main limbs create good eye flow. I was thinking that the greenish background was a fine subtle addition. Finding out that you adjusted it makes that your processing more striking. I do think that a bit more blur (or maybe some burning-in) on the branches near mid-center on the left side would be good, as right now they match shape and luminosity of the subject branch that ends close by. Redbuds make great spring subjects and now you’ve piqued my interest in how they winter.

Thank you @linda_mellor, @Kris_Smith, @David_Bostock, and @Mark_Seaver for your thoughts.

I’ve never used the soft pop filter. It does give it a bit of a color pop - not too much. And it actually improved the wintry mood by making the green a bit darker. Added that in the rework. I didn’t clone out that lower branch, though, as I rather like it.

Well, I tried burning them, but that looked odd because they are OOF. So, I dodged them, and some of the other darker branches. I think that it is an improvement. Rework posted.

This caught my eye when you posted it but I didn’t have time to stop and admire it – I’m so glad I did now because I think it’s exquisite! I think the rework is even better as it subdues the BG branches even more and brings out the seed pods.

I need to go check out my neighbor’s tree, but I know I couldn’t even come close to this one!

Thanks, @Diane_Miller. I’m sure you can find an interesting specimen!

Oddly enough (or not so much), I felt the BG needed a lightening and the seed pods a slight darkening with a bit of color pop.
In my neck of the woods, these are called Crotalaria and they are quite harmful to horses. Ours are green in the spring and quite brown come fall.

Thanks for the suggestions, @chris10. This is actually Western Red Bud, Cercis occidentalis, a California native. It’s a fairly tall shrub, getting as much as 15’ tall. It’s ubiquitous in the California foothills.

Our Redbud trees get quite tall and have no seed pods like this…the seed pods I see in my area look like this (very old image shot with a Nikon D40 and an 18-105 kit lens) so it looks like yuck…but you get the idea.