Crimson Hawthorn Berries

Crimson Hawthorn Berries

20×20 prints are $1,500
30×30 prints are $3,000

In 2001 we bought a building to use for my new studio and darkroom spending nine months renovating it. We moved the darkroom equipment into the building in September and spent a full month installing it. There would be no autumn photo trip that year so I had to content myself with going places nearby on short afternoon excursions.

This photograph was made at a city park about 10 miles from home. The sky was overcast and there had been light rain throughout the day, very typical weather for Oregon. The park had mostly conifers and I wasn’t seeing anything of photographic interest until Ruth and I came upon this hawthorn shrub. The light rain had let up for awhile but the raindrops had intensified all the colors in the leaves and crimson berries.

I used my 120mm Makro-Planar lens with my Hasselblad camera and Velvia 50 film. This lens is designed for close up photography and the image is astonishingly sharp and well defined. The rain began to fall right after I made this photograph so we put the equipment away and went home.

As soon as my darkroom was completely functional I set out to make a Cibachrome print of this image. Aside from a contrast mask it was necessary to make a red detail mask to hold the shape and shading on all of the red berries. Making and using a red detail mask involves using a very precise and technically difficult two step darkroom process and requires absolutely perfect registration when making the prints. Without the red detail mask the berries would be completely unacceptable red blobs. With it, the berries have exceptional shape and form.

Format: Medium (square)
Location: Oregon
Reference key: chb