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Peeling Bark

Detail Manzanita – Peeling Bark

I see what I see, even if I can’t show it very well on a blog.  Here, the peeling bark of a Manzanita (Arctostaphylos densiflora) has been transformed into elegant orange, rust, and mahogany brush strokes with the Topaz Simplify3 filter.  It looks great in the print but it is hard to convey the effect in a small blog post.

Of course the filter itself is not the point.  The image stands on its own.  In fact the filter is only the last step after cropping the original photo, tweaking highlights, and enhancing colors.  But the filter is what gives the photo an illustrative look as it smooths out details and blends colors.

This is the full frame of the print, where here in the blog, you can’t really see the effect of the filter.

I am really pleased how the curling skin blisters away from the smooth surface of the branch while the filter preserves the sinewy, taut ripples of the underlying structure in a bubbling stew of warm color.  It doesn’t matter that you can’t see why it works.

Except I showed you in that first detail shot ….

This is the full frame of the original photo before I cropped it as a horizontal.

I worked a good while at the shoot to find a branch and light it with reflectors to get a full frame of these curls and textures. Here is the Manzanita I was working with, a beautifully pruned California native shrub in The Melissa Garden in Sonoma County.

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