Ancient Bristlecone Pine, California, USA by Steven Martin

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Travelling from New Mexico to California along the least traveled roads in early autumn took me to over 11,000 feet in the White Mountains of California. I decided to take a detour to visit the Ancient Bristlecone Pine forest and marvel at some of the oldest living things on earth. While these trees, in life, are beautiful, I was most attracted to those trees clinging to the earth in afterlife. This particular trees is stunning, and has probably been photographed more than any other tree in this forest. Looking at this tree is the changing lighting conditions, as the clouds rolled by, I began to see this image in black and white (my favorite photography medium). I must have spent over an hour walking around this tree waiting for the light to change and find the most compelling composition. Just as the sun was sinking behind the Sierra Nevada I saw the image I was hoping to capture. I hope viewers enjoy looking at this image as much as I enjoyed photographing this tree.

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