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Regular Rod
01-07-2014, 04:14 PM
I love trees. I even find myself talking to them occasionally!

Sometimes I use my 6x12 camera on its side:

79826


Steve.

+1

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7434/8725125413_c7659af011_o.jpg

RR

Regular Rod
01-07-2014, 04:19 PM
ho bill.

when i photograph trees i tend to see them i several ways.
one might be a compositional element if i see them from a distance
as the get closer to me i see them differently almost like living sculptures
not sure if that makes sense.

cliveh, i totally understand the meditative approach you suggest to your students.
and can see how people have worshipped and have had a religious/spiritual connection to
trees and woodlands ...

You make total and perfect sense!

RR

Vaughn
01-07-2014, 04:32 PM
T...They are huge, graceful, straight and very sturdy trees; planted in 1936 as part of an experimental plot on land that gets a lot of fog and mist, which is how sequoias 'drink', by taking in moisture from their crowns...

As one who has done some study on these beauties, I will say this is not quite right. If the temp gets low enough, fog moving thru Coastal Redwoods, Sequoia sempervirens (rarely are they referred to down here as 'sequoias"...that is usually used for the Sierra redwoods, Sequoiadendron giganteum, such as in Sequoia National Park) the moisture from the fog gathers on the leaves and drips down to the ground, thus providing moisture for the trees during the periods of little rain in the summers. No moisture is drawn in by the leaves, but of course the fog reduces the transpiration rate and helps keep what moisture in the leaves in the leaves.

While attending university in New Zealand, I would visit the five redwoods in the botanical park in Christchurch about every week (there was one on campus, too). They gave up trying to grow them commercially...they grew too fast, making the wood too weak for structural uses.

pdeeh
01-07-2014, 05:37 PM
Why is that?


Steve.

Because of Ash die-back, a fungal disease that has entered the UK from infected Ash from NW Europe, being sold in UK nurseries, and seems to be on the verge of becoming epidemic.

RalphLambrecht
01-07-2014, 05:41 PM
I'm not a photograpjic hunter ,looking for a composition I like .I compose my oown scenes in the studio; to me ,it's the difference between taking and making photographs.For treesI'd have to get into bonsai first.

DREW WILEY
01-07-2014, 05:47 PM
Almost all redwood lumber now comes from farmed groves, and I tend to contemptuously refer to the marketed product as "pinkwood" because it is so much
less dense than old growth redwood lumber. The hills above here once held the tallest trees on earth, and every one of them was cut down. All the redwoods up there now are planted second growth. It is amazing how well designed these trees are at conducting fog moisture into the immediate ecosystem, even where official rainfall amounts are less than ideal. But they can also act like a big umbrella, and numerous times I've had a view camera propped up under one during a heavy rain, without me or my gear getting wet. Last month I was on Maui, where the mid-elevations resemble Marin County here, with open meadows surrounded by transplanted redwood an blue gum groves. I particularly like to play cat and mouse games with the lighting in the redwoods, which can be rather soft and mystical when the fog is present, and then rather quickly transition into hard and crisp, with extreme contrast lighting ratios, once the fog breaks around midday. The latter scenario will quickly separate the men from the boys when it comes to film choice and Zone System skills (plan on twelve or more zones, not eight! - sorry AA, but I don't believe in compensating developers - give me a long-scale film to begin with).

Hatchetman
01-07-2014, 06:57 PM
Emerald Ash Borer is killing all the ash trees in the central US.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerald_ash_borer

Bill Burk
01-07-2014, 07:51 PM
Emerald Ash Borer is killing all the ash trees in the central US.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerald_ash_borer

This tests my goodwill towards all creatures great and small. We need some modern-day "Johnny Appleseed" to go around the country scattering granules of Emamectin Benzoate.

DWThomas
01-07-2014, 09:22 PM
Actually the tree situation in the US is a bit scary. Way back in the early last century there was the chestnut blight that pretty well wiped out that species (there have been some resistant variations found now making a bit of a comeback). Dutch elm disease has seriously assaulted the American elm which used to line many town streets. And now in addition to the ash problem, there is anthracnose fungus killing off the native dogwoods, woolly adelgid seriously reducing hemlock stands and there are reports of "sudden oak death" in parts of the country. (See evolution at work!) There is also the Asian longhorned beetle, an "import" lurking here and there infesting hardwoods.

Bill Burk
01-07-2014, 10:35 PM
... sending out 2 groups of about 10 students and asking both groups to photograph trees, but telling one group they must meditate for several minutes on their subject tree before taking the shot. If we were then to display the images from both groups, would the pictures from the meditation group have more presence?

I think that's a splendid experiment! I think the two series would have different feel. For example if they were shown on separate walls or separate rooms, viewers would sense "something" was different, even if they couldn't place it.

Bill Burk
01-07-2014, 10:52 PM
My favorite place to photograph; Carbon prints of various sizes (5x7 and 8x10):

You really do justice to trees, Vaughn.

Bill Burk
01-07-2014, 10:53 PM
http://www.flickr.com/photos/baachitraka

Thanks baachitraka, It's a treat to see them all!

Bill Burk
01-07-2014, 10:58 PM
I have often been attracted by sycamores with their flaky bark patches, especially highlighted against a deep autumn sky when the trees are bare.

Sometimes it's about texture. A few years back I took a shot of sycamore tree bark trying out my Bronica macro lens. I got in close and captured about a 12 inch square section of tree trunk (it's in my gallery stuff here).

Nice shot. You've gotta come out to California and see some of our Ponderosa Pines... I haven't any B&W to share, but they have that "jigsaw puzzle" flaking that leads to infinite compositions. I think you'd enjoy a variation on that theme.

Vaughn
01-08-2014, 02:57 PM
... - sorry AA, but I don't believe in compensating developers - give me a long-scale film to begin with).

That and long-scale photographic processes!

What is amazing is to see a ring of huge redwoods that started out as sprouts around the 'parent' tree. The parent tree has completely disappeared...and it takes a long time for a standing redwood to rot away. So the sprouts are somewhere around 1000 years old (give or take 500), and the parent tree might have lived that long, or longer. The sprouts are genetically the same tree as the parent tree, so it could be argued that they are 2000+ years old.

This photo is from 1986 and the redwood had fallen within about ten years of this photo. Now the trunk is an elevated forest -- no space to walk (or lay) on it anymore (The wood imp might still be there, but I never saw her again...;) )

PS -- thanks, Bill. I have been photographing along this section of creek for over 30 years...never tire of it...always something new.

VaryaV
01-08-2014, 03:17 PM
That's wonderful, Vaughn. I absolutely worship trees and would be happy to spend the rest of my life underneath one. They are indeed magical, and many people must think so, because it seems the main subject of interest in many circles. (I think).

Aside from what Cindy Sherman said, I will never tire from looking at pictures of trees. Nev-Ver!

And, right now I'm a hapless urban dweller that longs for the forests again. So, I have to get mine by proxy. :)

Vaughn
01-08-2014, 05:27 PM
That's wonderful, Vaughn. I absolutely worship trees and would be happy to spend the rest of my life underneath one.

Quite a few years ago I was walking under the redwoods (on a ridgetop trail) with the university's 4x5 during a 60+ MPH windstorm. Branches were falling from 200+ feet above me -- I certainly thought it was a possibility of spending the rest of my short life underneath one of them! Over the years I got better at judging when the windless days were happening in the redwoods and what the light quality would be. At first it was one trip out of three (it is a 50 mile drive to my favorite area), and now I can hit it right 7 or 8 times out of ten. The other times I just have a great day hanging out in the redwoods...and it is good exercise walking around with 60 pounds of 8x10 stuff -- and who knows, one might come across some still air, or find a way to use the movement to make an image!

I do have my favorite trees that I enjoy visiting during the 35 or so years I have been photographing there. I have seen some of my favorite maples die and fall...the big-leaf maple in the first image of the five I posted has lost one of the two trunks, but the vine maples in the last image still dance around the redwood each Fall. Redwoods have fallen to open up large areas to the light, and I have seen areas of light slowly fill in. As Cliveh seemed to ask, does spending that much time studying the light and the landscape in a particular place allow one to make more meaningful images of that place? Could anyone see any difference with a photo(s) taken by someone just 'passing through'? My ego would like to think so, but it would depend on the skills and insight (and luck) of the visitor, too.

But I also enjoy photographing in the desert, and this is a different approach to photographing a tree, it has created its own 'ecosystem' that I thought it was important to represent:
(Death Valley, 8x10 platinum print)

Regular Rod
01-08-2014, 08:07 PM
Quite a few years ago I was walking under the redwoods (on a ridgetop trail) with the university's 4x5 during a 60+ MPH windstorm. Branches were falling from 200+ feet above me -- I certainly thought it was a possibility of spending the rest of my short life underneath one of them! Over the years I got better at judging when the windless days were happening in the redwoods and what the light quality would be. At first it was one trip out of three (it is a 50 mile drive to my favorite area), and now I can hit it right 7 or 8 times out of ten. The other times I just have a great day hanging out in the redwoods...and it is good exercise walking around with 60 pounds of 8x10 stuff -- and who knows, one might come across some still air, or find a way to use the movement to make an image!

I do have my favorite trees that I enjoy visiting during the 35 or so years I have been photographing there. I have seen some of my favorite maples die and fall...the big-leaf maple in the first image of the five I posted has lost one of the two trunks, but the vine maples in the last image still dance around the redwood each Fall. Redwoods have fallen to open up large areas to the light, and I have seen areas of light slowly fill in. As Cliveh seemed to ask, does spending that much time studying the light and the landscape in a particular place allow one to make more meaningful images of that place? Could anyone see any difference with a photo(s) taken by someone just 'passing through'? My ego would like to think so, but it would depend on the skills and insight (and luck) of the visitor, too.

But I also enjoy photographing in the desert, and this is a different approach to photographing a tree, it has created its own 'ecosystem' that I thought it was important to represent:
(Death Valley, 8x10 platinum print)

A beautiful photograph in every way!
RR

c.d.ewen
01-08-2014, 09:24 PM
Somehow, I seem to always take pictures of things in their shadows. Perhaps I'm always looking down at my feet (I have a walking problem).

RE: imperiled trees - I just finished reading The Man Who Planted Trees by Jim Robbins. It's about an eccentric gentleman who believes his calling in life is to clone "Champion Trees", i.e., the biggest, broadest exemplars of their species. Not a real page turner, but it's good to know some of the wackos in the world are doing positive things.

Charley

Vaughn
01-08-2014, 10:01 PM
Thanks, RR!

senorverde
01-08-2014, 11:36 PM
I treat trees as if they were people. If an old, fat tree can stand its own in the middle of an empty field, then no need to add any more. If a skinny sapling is better off in the company of friends, then let it be so. However, in the end if a tree or group of trees fail to add anything to the composition or leave your shot a mess of confusing twigs, then I'll either move to a better spot or forget it altogether.