Wednesday 12 January 2011

Midwinter colour

Most of you will know by now that one of my current favourite ornamental plants is the Dogwood. In the Autumn I posted lots of pictures of Dogwood foliage and berries (See my post called "Dogwood Gallery" from 2nd November, for instance).

Well on Sunday we had a cold frosty start to the day, but with some glorious sunshine, which made the Dogwood bushes positively glow. I just had to get out there with the camera!

I have tried lots of times to photograph the branches of Dogwood bushes in their Winter colours, but I have never really managed to get a good photo. The trouble is, the camera gets confused by the mass of inter-twining branches and twigs, so if one bit of your photo is nicely focused, it is spoiled by a random jumble of fuzzy bits all around it -- like this:

This one was about the best I achieved

This one is OK-ish too (as long as you enlarge it)

"Midwinter Fire"

Anyway, this time I tried a different approach: I cut a handful of twigs, put them in a vase and photographed them all together in a reasonably regular configuration, with all the twigs pointing in more-or-less the same direction.  The results are quite pleasing. They certainly demonstrate the wide range of colour variation available with this species, ranging from green, through yellow and orange to bright fiery red and deep crimson.





Did you see the white speckly things in the bottom right-hand corner of "Outdoors3"? They are frozen raindrops on the surface of the garden table (I took the photos at about 0930 a.m.). Here are some close-up pictures of them

Final thought for today: after I had finished photographing the Dogwood twigs, I dipped them in hormone rooting powder and planted them in some pots of compost, in the hope that some of them will take root. In a way I hope they don't ALL take root, because if they do I will have 24 more Dogwood bushes to cope with!


  1. The dogwood stems really glow in the close up photos. I think the red brick wall behind them subdues the effect in the photo near the top - you'll have to paint it black!

  2. We actually live on Dogwood Dr. There is a reason they called it that. We have wild dogwood trees all over the place.

  3. Hi GLA; Thank you SO MUCH for your really "helpful" suggestion! But I don't think I will paint the wall black. Now, a WHITE wall might be a good idea, to boost the light level...

  4. Becky, do the wild Dogwood trees have brightly-coloured branches / stems too?

  5. I agree with GLA, the background makes all the difference. Dogwood is beautiful, but this is visible only on a darker background.

  6. The photo of the stems in the vase certainly show off their range of colour. Hope some of them root for you.

  7. I am lovin dogwood to! And you are lovin that camera, aren't you!

  8. What about the blue Alan T used to use a lot on groundforce then?

  9. OK, GLA, I give in - just as long as you don't make me put in any decking!

  10. Black would be the perfect backdrop, but perhaps not on brickwork... Nowt wrong with a bit of well-constructed decking, so long as you don't paint it blue! Love the close-ups of the stems. You could crop the photo to remove the vase which is slightly distracting? Best bit of photography advice I ever got was "always be aware of the background".

    I reckon as you get used to the macro settings on your camera you will find you can get really close and have one branch in perfect focus surrounded by slightly blurry branches, perhaps of different colours. Great job on the iced raindrops - it must be a lot colder down your way, here it is mild and damp. Enjoy your camera - look forward to seeing more!


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