Strawberry Tree

Arbutus tree, Tower Point Regional Park.
(Camera: Hasselblad 503cx; Lens: 80mmm f/2.8 Zeiss Planar; Film: Fuji Provia 100F transparancy)

The bold colours of this Arbutus tree are natural, but they’re extra rich in this photo. This is the product of two factors working in concert. First,  warm sunset lighting is in play — not only from the Sun directly, but also reflecting off the ocean below. Secondly, I underexposed the shot by about ½ stop, which always boosts the colour in slide film. This scan looks pretty good, but how I wish you could see the original transparency on the light table!

In some parts of the world this tree is known as the Madrone, but no matter what name it goes by, its wonderful to photograph with its amazing forms, textures, and colours.  But, honestly, an Arbutus the last thing you want growing in your yard.  It’s a full-time job cleaning up after them — they’re always shedding something.  First it’s little dead twigs, then its  hard, waxy flowers, then its red berries (from which the tree gets its name), then its leaves, then its bark.  But the Arbutus is undeniably beautiful. A beautiful nuisance.

 

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