Pacific Dogwood Flowers at Big Trees, part two

On my May 26 post, I related that I had walked the South Grove Trail at the Calaveras Big Trees State Park with a composition on my mind: I wanted a shot of the blooming Pacific Dogwood, Cornus nuttallii, against the trunk of a Giant Sequoia, Sequoiadendron giganteum. I also wrote that the conditions had forced me to give up on my original vision and settle for photographing a flower that had fallen on the roots of a tree. I thought that it was a good story.

Upon closer scrutiny of my photos from Calaveras, however, I did find a photo that was in line with my initial vision (see featured photograph above).

Location: Calaveras Big Trees State Park, Arnold, California, USA;

Equipment: Nikon D750, AF-S NIKKOR 105mm F2.8G;

Settings:  f/4.5, 1/500”, ISO 400; photograph in the text: f/5, 1/640”, ISO 320;

Photography Tips: the best day for this is when it is overcast and the wind is not blowing, but I did not have any of this. Play with the ISO and aperture to achieve a shutter speed that is fast enough to freeze movement. I processed this photograph by adding a black and white layer in photoshop and playing with the opacity of that layer to leave just a dash of color. I also applied a sepia filter layer on top of all layers.   

Published by Alessandra Chaves

Photographer with a preference for nature photography in black and white and other abstractions.

3 thoughts on “Pacific Dogwood Flowers at Big Trees, part two

  1. What made you want to portray Pacific dogwood flowers against a giant sequoia in the first place?
    In terms of this particular photograph, did you consider cropping off any of the dark area at the far left? (I’m not suggesting you should have, I’m just asking. With my own pictures I often consider different ways of cropping.)


    1. Steve, it’s a type of photograph people in California take: dogwood flowers in front of sequoia. I didn’t give this much thinking, on why 😀. Monkey see monkey do. I will try the crop you suggested. That “dark area” is another tree…


    2. In fact I had cropped it significantly in the portfolio on the link I have indicated in the post and I think that it actually looks better. I cropped it there to comply with the dimensions of the other pictures but in wasn’t aware of the difference in the two versions. Thanks for pointing it out.


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