Madrone Berries

Madrone berries (Arbutus menziesii) – Double Vision

The vision in my left eye is still quite blurry.  Unless I really concentrate on what I am seeing, my right eye dominates and I simply have a hazy sense of looming weirdness.  And unless I stick my head up real close to something, color washes out.

So to see these Madrone berries I stuck my head right into the branches and let my blurry vision take over.  If I let both eyes see, there is only a small area in focus and the rest is a double vision.  To make this photo, shot in macro mode super close with my G11, I copied the image and superimposed it on itself, slightly offset.

After I sandwiched the images, I erased the effect on the berries with the best focus and added the palette knife art filter; and then erased that effect on the same berries.  It is hard to see the effect of the filter in the small blog version of the photo, but I am satisfied that I can convey how only a small area of the scene is actually in sharp focus.

I used the palette knife filter on  a much stronger setting for a vertical version of berries on another Madrone.  It seemed to be an exceptionally good year for berries for this exceptionally wonderful California native tree, but even so, I needed to clone in a cluster of berries to fill a gap in the lower left of the original photo.

Madrone berries – cloned

If you look closely you will notice the cluster at the bottom is the same as the one above it. I had to spend some Photoshop time blending leaves and branches so it would look “natural”,  but it is all for the sake of art.  The camera always lies anyway, and I really wanted to get the feeling of looking through a blurry foreground to an area that is sharp focus.

In this case, I am allowing my dominant right eye to focus where ever it can, knowing my blurry left eye can focus on nothing in the distance.  I didn’t let my eyes see double vision, letting the blurry left eye be an impressionist sense of color.  This only works if I am really close to the subject, other wise my eye does not see much color, just muted gray blurs.

It is fun to play with these macro scenes where I can actually put the eye to creative use, but for larger landscapes it is still pretty useless.  As spring comes on and I begin my real work photographing gardens, I wonder how the two eyes will work together – or not.  I am using a pirate’s patch over my eye when I drive so that I can avoid some depth of field confusion of one blurry eye.  I may need to use it when I work….


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