Thanks to the acute attention to detail of fellow photographer and instructor, Joe Inzalaco, I was able to capture something I rarely take notice of – winter berries.
We were both assisting some students at the Rozamond Gifford Zoo, taking them through the paces of adjusting their camera to take photographs manually. Upon leaving the pond where ducks and flamingos are frequently on exhibit, we paused at the primate park exhibit. There, Joe pointed to a berry plant which had lost almost all its leaves.
Thanks to thick fog and dense cloud cover this morning, the lighting was flat. There were no deep shadows and this allowed me to emphasize the small amounts of light which would break through the clouds occasionally In this case, there was a small amount of light which shone on the right side of the berries bringing drama to the image.
The leaf shown in the image was the last leaf I observed on this branch; And, I used it to counter balance the berries on the opposite side of the frame. I also used a shallow depth of field to further isolate this singular branch. The photo was taken such that the branch ran diagonally through the frame to add a dynamic feel to the image. Although I had considered converting the image to black and white, I thought the colors were rich and added more to the image than taking away. Further, the purple blurred patches in the background add to the context of the image and makes for a nice smooth background.
For a completely spontaneous image, I thought that various elements came together to make the image work. The soft lighting, the leaf, the shallow depth of field, the color all converged in making an image which emphasized depth, drama and the beauty of these “Winter Berries.”