Eden Grove

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Remains. Eden Grove, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
Nikon Z8 with Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S at 115mm, 1/45 sec, f/9.5, ISO 500.

Photographing a lush forest is a lot easier in soft overcast light, but even in those conditions two basic challenges remain: finding a subject amidst all the chaos and then making an image where it is clear what that subject actually is. So when I spot a scene like the one above, I jump on it. The mass of green foliage makes a nicely-textured background for the interesting skeleton of the subject tree. So, despite all the busyness of this scene, it feels simple because the strong contrast in color and luminosity makes it easy to separate subject from background.

This next image is a little more work for viewer because instead of two layers to the image there are really three. The subject is the trunk and (rather chaotic) branches of the tree; I think they stand out enough against everything else for the viewer’s eye to hang onto their vein-like pattern. They contrast with the dark green and near blacks of the evergreen trees behind. Then there is a sprinkling of the tree’s own fresh light green leaves uniformly-distributed across the image. I think these leaves add some depth and interest to the image without being too overwhelming: if they were much denser they would probably obscure too much of the underlying branches; much sparser and they would probably be distracting; and less uniformly-distributed would generate a competing pattern—as they are they add more of a texture than a pattern. I am very pleased with both this image and how I processed it: the primary thing was to brighten the leaves a little and to darken the background evergreens a little, too, just to better separate them so they would be more distinct. The result is probably a little busy for some people’s taste, but I like pulling off a complex image like this.

Spring Alder. Eden Grove, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
Nikon Z8 with Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S at 51mm, 1/20 sec, f/9.5, ISO 500.

For the next image, the tree trunk and branches stand out because they are darker than the bright green foliage. To help this out, I used a wider aperture to narrow the area in focus to the tree trunk itself. (f/4 isn’t a very wide aperture, but it is as wide as that lens will go and is enough to help!) This image expresses the feel of the spring forest nicely, I think, and is a softer, more peaceful-feeling image than the preceding one. So, if you don’t care for the previous one, this one might be more to your liking.

Spring Hemlock. Eden Grove, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
Nikon Z8 with Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S at 72mm, 1/180 sec, f/4, ISO 500.

This next pair of images are both tighter views of interesting tree trunks in the forest chaos. I had convinced myself that these were all red alders, but since I can’t see anything that looks like alder leaves I decided not to label them as such. (If anyone knows what they are, please let me know in the comments! And feel free to confirm or refute any other of my assertions about tree identities, too.) I saw a lot of trees with similar bark on Vancouver Island and found them to be—in a nod to my British friends—rather fetching.

Eden Spring No. 1. Eden Grove, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
Nikon Z8 with Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S at 120mm, 1/10 sec, f/9.5, ISO 500.
Eden Spring No. 2. Eden Grove, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
Nikon Z8 with Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S at 110mm, 1/45 sec, f/9.5, ISO 500.

Finally, I loved the way this spooky, moody, moss-covered tree was surrounded by bright happy spring foliage. I think it is a fun image that makes me think of Hansel & Gretel.

Curmudgeon. Eden Grove, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
Nikon Z8 with Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S at 57mm, 3.0 sec, f/9.5, ISO 64.

I have quite a few more images from Eden Grove that are pretty distinct from these, so the blog may revisit this location in a couple weeks.

Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoyed these images!

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2 responses to “Eden Grove”

    • Thank you, Charlie! Looking back on the images I think it was more productive than I felt at the time. I suppose that is common.

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