Friday, 13 April 2018 23:17


Sometimes it's fun to approach a usual subject in a somewhat unusual way, and so I found myself looking down at the spreading blossoms of a beautiful dogwood (Cornus florida) on the edge of a small forest of dogwoods growing along the last stretches of the Blue Ridge Parkway above Big Cove in the Qualla Boundary. It was a scene that seemed to demand the use of a short focal length lens and a somewhat unusual wide angle-of-view with the low-bending blossoms in the foreground and the spindly, angular trunks of neighboring trees in the background.

A focal length of 27mm, solid wide-angleland, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/18 provided depth-of-field and a shutter speed of 1/13th second at ISO 100 froze any slight motion and gave me an overall slightly-lighter-than-medium exposure. A single deformed blossom in the foreground provided an interesting counterpoint to the otherwise lush and full array of white.

When out-of-the-ordinary compositions present themselves, don't hesitate to go outside of your usual box of compositional thoughts and see something unsual in the beauty around you.

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  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Friday, 20 April 2018 19:02 posted by Donald McGowan

    Good afternoon Everyone. Bonnie and I have just returned home from our Spring Road Scholar adventure in the Smokies with the Intentional Growth Center at Lake Junaluska, NC. It was a wonderful group, and our week was filled with fun and friendship, and more than a little creativity along the way. The mountains were beautiful, and the weather was quite interesting. Spring is arriving in "fits and starts", but it is definitely arriving.
    Hey Kat; it's always good to hear from you and to be reminded that you are out there promoting the conservation and enjoyment of our wild and scenic places. Your kind and thoughtful comments are always deeply appreciated. Thank you. We hope to entice you to Asheville soon. Walk in Beauty.
    Hey Donald. Thank you for directing our attention to that wonderful deformed blossom. I felt toward it much like you, and it really never crossed my mind to try to eliminate it. All of my efforts were aimed at inclusivity, but had I considered removal, I might have attempted all of the approaches you have mentioned. I was reminded this week that we will be seeing you before too long. Have a beautiful spring around the lake.
    Hi Nancy T. I hope your moving adventure is coming to an end and your new home adventure is in full swing. Like you, I have been thinking about this sort of dogwood image for some time, but nothing I found met the conditions you have so well outlined until I saw this little intimate location along the Parkway near Cherokee. The low-bending limb was perfectly positioned and I knew I had the opportunity I wanted. Thanks for describing it so precisely.
    Hey Bob. Your kind words remind me exactly why I love what I do so very much. I'd like to imagine that it is all about the act of creativity and sharing creativity regardless of whether the viewer is a seasoned photographer or a point-and-click artist. Thanks for taking the time to join us. I hope your relocation adventure has gotten over the bumps and you are moving toward being in your new home. Be well.
    Thanks, again, Everyone. The diversity of you comments says exactly what the joy of sharing the creative process of photography is all about. Have a beautiful spring!

  • Comment Link Bob wilson Sunday, 15 April 2018 14:35 posted by Bob wilson

    Don, although a very amateur photographer using only a Samsung Galaxy 3 smartphone camera, I do enjoy taking pictures and feel like I get a photography tutorial with every picture you share.

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Sunday, 15 April 2018 12:47 posted by Nancy Tripp

    That is a great angle to photograph the dogwood blossoms. I like that you included the odd one in front and the tree trunks in back... it seems to complete the story. I have often tried to catch the blossoms from above, but I am vertically challenged and have not been able to find the perfect spot, at the right angle of view, in the perfect light, perfect weather, and perfect day of the year! You Did!!! and it is PERFECT!

  • Comment Link Donald Newsom Sunday, 15 April 2018 11:48 posted by Donald Newsom

    Don, thanks for leaving the deformed blossom in the picture. Nature's "imperfections" are beautiful, too! It sounds like you included it intentionally. Did you try any nondestructive ways to eliminate it from view? Reframe the shot, choose a different angle of view, bend a twig to hold it behind the white blossoms, etc.?

  • Comment Link Katherine Taaffe Sunday, 15 April 2018 08:36 posted by Katherine Taaffe

    Don, as usual, your image has brought me to a moment of stillness and appreciation of the natural world that surrounds us. Thank you. All the best with your upcoming opportunity to expose more people to your amazing perspective!

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