Share this photo on Twitter Share this photo on Facebook

Sunlight on Dogwood, Yosemite

Posted by
Gary Hart (California, United States) on 5 May 2010 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

It's dogwood time in Yosemite. Each year the peak dogwood bloom varies by a couple of weeks around May 1; this year it's on the late side, a result of April's rain and snow. I'm fortunate to live close enough that I can usually manage at least one visit as soon as I hear the dogwood are ready, so I imagine I'll be back up there next week.

Like poppies, dogwood are great in full sun. I try to photograph the side opposite the sunlit side; the sunlit side is just too harshly lit, but the backlit side appears incandescent, especially if you can photograph it against shade. And while poppies usually require sprawling on the ground, dogwood is easily found at eye level or higher.

This image I captured while demonstrating my backlight technique for a workshop student. I start by finding a dogwood blossom in full bloom, ideally with a combination of shade and sunlit dogwood in the background. I usually opt for a wide aperture to limit my depth of field so everything lit in the background becomes brilliant splashes of color. I meter on the brightest part of the dogwood and set the exposure to something around +1 to ensure the highlights don't blow and the shadows approach black. And of course after the capture I carefully review the image in my LCD to determine whether I need any exposure and/or focus adjustments.

* My Facebook page *

Upcoming workshops

Yosemite winter, spring, and fall; New Zealand; Grand Canyon; Death Valley; Eastern Sierra; Maui; Hawaii's Big Island; Columbia River Gorge

Other Links

* Facebook

* WordPress Blog

* Website: Eloquent Images

Thanks for visiting. Even if I don't respond, your comments are always read and appreciated.

Dulcie from Danville, CA, United States

A heavenly image, exquisite green bokeh ! It feels deep in another world !

5 May 2010 6:42am

Tamara from Aarschot, Belgium

Wow that light is exquisite ! Lovely composition and DOF ! Well done :)

5 May 2010 7:21am

Vitor Martins from Lisboa, Portugal

Beautiful image, with a fantastic softness and with a fantastic light

5 May 2010 11:13am

Elora from Genoa, Italy

The light is just amazing here, I think this is one of my faves of yours! Thanks for the explanation too! (It's a shame there are no dogwoods in Italy, but I think this would work with other flowers too!)

5 May 2010 4:11pm

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

Beautiful lighting!

5 May 2010 11:25pm

Sandy Weston from Madison, Maine, United States

Lovely dogwood....delicate and pleasing :)

5 May 2010 11:48pm

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

excellent technique and the result speaks for itself - perfect DOF for background highlights not too detract form the main object and wonderful use of light to emphasise the shapes!

6 May 2010 1:22am

Shelle from Washington State, United States

Oh the light, the light. Beautiful.

6 May 2010 2:49am

KriKridesign from Cully, Switzerland

just marvelous...

6 May 2010 11:25am

Julie from Easton, United States

Nice use of the light and focus in this shot! Very pretty!

6 May 2010 5:36pm

Ansie from Paarl, South Africa

beautiful, the woods and natural light will do it every time!

6 May 2010 7:23pm

steve loos from hollister, United States

Gary this image is mystical and beautiful - another great image with stunning color and bokeh.

8 May 2010 2:30am

Julie Brown from Indianapolis, United States

Very nice Gary. Thanks for the metering tip.

8 May 2010 6:52pm

Didier DE ZAN from somewhere, France

Very nice light

11 May 2010 4:58am

Magda from Vancouver, Canada

The light is glorious and the bokeh dreamy! Bravo!

23 May 2010 4:40am

Sharon E. Norris from United States

Love this photo your captured it with a feeling of dancing with the light love this one.

5 Jun 2010 6:26pm