As luck would have it …

This Thanksgiving Monday it was cool and showery looking out of the window, as one does, I was struck by the combination of birch tree trunks and golden birch leaves forming a backdrop to a berry-rich rowan tree that has begun to lose it’s leaves and thereby was revealing the birch trunks. A gorgeous combination – made all the richer in the subdued light of a rainy day – sunshine rarely makes for the best photographs.

I took a number of photographs and then subjected them to “post-processing” which photographer-speak for computerised tweaking. Once upon a time, and I am old enough to have had hands-on experience, this was done in the dark room with noxious chemicals. The computer is better and a lot healthier.

Anyway, purely a personal opinion, but I rather think this is going to be one of my favourite photographs – here are some variations I made and which I hope you will enjoy. The “original” and to my eye, the best, is on my other website – have a look at

So –

The basic photograph of the trees before “artistic consideration” was applied

Picking out an interesting segment to work with – but the landscape format didn’t really give what I wanted

That’s it … portrait format, sharpened the edges a bit and brought up the saturation marginally on the reds and yellows plus some additional lightening of the reds. This is my final image that is on the other website. I am really pleased with this – considering it for a Christmas card perhaps?

** This looks a lot better, and larger, on

Still raining outside while the cat is sitting next to me staring at the screen saying “… and, and, where’s the art?”

A bit of desaturation, some edge work and an instant painterly-ish image emerges.

Black and white, anyone?

Or even a touch of old fashioned sepia, perhaps.

That was fun – and Buster the cat is impressed.

Post scriptum – then, an hour later, the sun returned and the trees were lit not by a diffuse and subdued light but from behind with low “golden hour” sunbeams. This, naturally, gave a totally different image. There are a couple of comparison images below and I would be curious to know which you prefer and why. Personally, i still prefer the original (the one on the right), I find the colours more subtle and detail of the birch bark is better defined, the evening light one (left) is more chocolate-boxy but also a very different mood. Considering having them printed on art paper and mounted as a set.