Quote Originally Posted by VaryaV View Post
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)