This tree is also known as "The Tree" and is located along the dirt road that crosses Dolly Sods Natural preserve in West Virginia. The tree is surrounded by pines and I have the impression the rangers of the park have cleaned the area so to create this magical location.
Since there are no signs or marks on the road to signal the location, you need to talk with somebody that knows where it is to find it. However, if you drive very slowly from the Bear Rock preserve on your back you will see it from the road on your left about a couple of miles from the parking.
I was at that location two days before this photo but it was clouded and while it was still an impressive tree it did not pop up. I read that with the right light, the green leaves get a lot of different tonalities creating a special mood.
The morning I took this image, I checked the forecast and they were great. Photopill app told me the sun would be shown at the right height at about 9 am, and that was great so I could go first to shoot sunrise at the Bear Rock preserve and then drive there.
I manage on-site just in time for the sun to start to show through the leaves and create a sort of magical atmosphere. I choose to photograph the tree from a low angle with a 14 mm. I wanted to provide the viewer with the same feeling I had while was there a peaceful place full of energy and wanted the tree to appear dominant in the image.
I had to go around a little before finding the sweet spot. Eventually, I found the composition I liked and took 3-4 shots before being happy. To me, this tree reminds the Ent of the Lord of the Ring, a Tree shepherd to whom the surrounding tree presents their respect. It was a fantastic morning and I am happy I could be there at right time.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor