Dogwood Blossom Variations

Dogwoods au Natural, Quincy Illinois

Dogwood au Natural © 2011 Bo Mackison

Looking at these dogwood blossoms in their natural color…

Dogwood Blossoms, Desaturated, Quincy, Illinois

Dogwood Blossoms, Desaturated © 2011 Bo Mackison

And in more muted tones…

Dogwood Flowers in Black and White, Quincy Illinois

Dogwood Flowers in Black and White © 2011 Bo Mackison

And in black and white.

Same flowers, but three different ways to view them. There are times when I love seeing the world in full, living color. Other times I prefer my world to be somewhat muted, a bit quieter. And once in a while I like the simplicity that black and white offers, a focus on the elemental shapes, fewer distractions.

Do you have a favorite? Or does your preference change depending on your mood? Do you ever use photographs like these as a focus for meditation or as a stepping stone to lose yourself in thought?



About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. I nearly always prefer the natural colors, and I think perhaps that is because when I see them in person, that is the version that attracted my eye to them in the first place.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      These dogwoods are especially attractive in full living color, but I also found myself interested in their clustered shapes. So…experimenting was in order. I have a fondness for each of them, for different reasons.

  2. Wendy B Burton says:

    So many beautiful images Bo. I totally love your art. These blossoms are especially gorgeous.

    Thank you for all the sunshine and beauty you bring so frequently to my life Bo.
    Angels be with you.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Thank you, Wendy. I am blessed to be coming into the seasons of plenty as far as gardens and flowers are concerned! 🙂

  3. Love the variations here. Especially love the soft-muted tones (the middle one). Amazing how we can change the mood and feel of an image by simple processing.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      I like the muted one, Too, Marcie. It reminds me of the photographs and pictures from the days of my grandparents. Everything in my childhood home was quiet and muted, maybe to calm the soul, hmm?

  4. dogwoods are simply magic, anyway you present them. If I had to pick, it would probably be the middle one. Subtle suits the dogwood.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Yes, dogwoods are not a pretentious flower. Thanks for visiting and commenting, Jane. I love your photographs on your blog, BTW.

  5. Very interesting contrast. Each has its merits. I usually prefer the natural look (ala Montucky), but my eye does focus on different aspects of the flower when it is muted or B&W. So I’ll cop out and say all of them. 🙂

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