Trees

Reach for the Sky

Reach for the sky

Reach for the Sky

This image and the Sumada Tree were both taken from the same hillside. It’s great to have two subjects in the same area, I had one tree facing north and another facing roughly east. This meant it was far more likely that I’d get at least one good image.

After capturing this image I couldn’t help being reminded of the film platoon.

From the movie Platoon

From the movie Platoon


Branch Out

Birds Eye rrr

Branch Out

I photographed in Patagonia for much of 2015/16; from my cabin in the small town of El Chalten I was able to access deep into the heart of Los Glaciers National Park. Some days I would need a break from hiking, but I would always keep an eye on the sky, because if the clouds looked promising I would be able to run to this tree in under 20 minutes. In all my time photographing the park I only ever saw condors here on two occasions. I should point out that it was necessary to take two pictures to create this image. I used a wide angle lens to photograph the tree, in doing so the condor appeared tiny. It’s 9′ wingspan was miniaturized with the effect of using such a wide focal length. Therefore I pushed my processing boundaries and shot the bird separately with a longer focal length and later added it to the image.  This image does make a more accurate representation of the scene.

Here’s a couple more from the same location:

 

 

 

 

 


Desert Cathedral

Desert Cathedral

Desert Cathedral

Only when you get close to this cave do you realize its potential for photography. It’s then that you come to understand that there are many places within the American Southwest that have yet to be discovered. Huge thanks must go to the guy who not only shared this location with me but was also kind enough to bring me fresh espresso when I’d camp out here.


Dance Hall

Dance Hall Tree

Dance Hall Tree

Dance Hall Rock is a popular place to photograph in southern Utah. During the monsoons the depressions in the sandstone sometimes fill with rainwater, which can be incredibly photogenic. When that doesn’t happen you have to make do with what you have. Looking at the patterns in the sandstone I thought this might make an interesting subject for a long exposure shot with the stars rotating around the pole star. Deciding that I would want to light the subject from below I dropped down into the hollow with some candles. I misjudged the height of the drop and soon discovered that I couldn’t get out! I was on my own without a cell phone or other means to call for help. After several failed attempts at running, jumping and of course sliding back down I began to think I might end up lost like Everett Ruess who went missing in this area back in 1934. After a little while I began piling up sand which gave me the extra height I needed to escape. I would say it was a lesson well learned, but of course I’ve done many daft things since.

Here’s the star rotation, it’s become a rather unimaginative form of photography but I add it here just to show the principle.

 

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The Sumada Tree

The Sumada Tree

The Sumada Tree

A fellow photographer recommended I visit this hilltop which is on the edge of Glacier National Park in Montana. The foreground log made such an obvious choice with the bark creating leading lines towards the standing tree. I would typically start my day attempting to shoot in the park, then retreat to a cafe in East Glacier Village. By afternoon I’d be ready to head to this hilltop. On about day six I spotted a guy hitch hiking on the road, he had a tripod sticking out of his backpack so I stopped and offered him a lift. I suggested he might like to shoot the tree and so after parking on the road we clambered up the hill. It was a promising afternoon with cumulus clouds building in the east. The afternoon was somewhat spoiled when the hitch hiker told me the tree had been photographed long before by a well known Oregonian photographer. I lost interest in the image and it lay unprocessed for a long time, but it’s a nice shot and so I felt it well suited to my tree gallery.