Rhododendrons are often synonymous with California redwoods. Trevor Anderson shares his experiences of photographing these beautiful plants in locations across the USA
I recently had an opportunity to photograph the Rhododendron Macrophyllum in the California redwoods and in Oregon. These trees grow in the coastal foothills of California, Oregon, Washington, and as far north as Canada. They peak between late May and early June on average years. These trees can often appear very shrub-like, but have been known to grow upwards of 40 feet.
The rhododendrons are particularly stunning when paired with the redwood trees. The rich magenta of the flowers complements the greens and browns of the forest nicely; this splash of color can also help to add depth and context to a forest scene. Since the rhododendron tree is relatively small, it magnifies the size of the redwoods exceptionally well. This idea is particularly brought to life when there is a singular rhododendron placed amid several redwood trees. Finding a singular and outstanding tree in front of a photogenic stand of trees can be somewhat of a challenge, though. I was lucky enough to spot such a scene in Jedediah Smith State Park.
I recall us getting into the park in the depths of the evening. There wasn’t much light left around sunset in this dense forest, but there was enough to capture a couple of long exposures. I was particularly drawn to...