Redwood National Park, California, USA by Craig Bill

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Picture Story

The sequoia trees - both the Coastal Redwoods and the inland Giant Sequoia trees - have been one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced. You would expect that with all their size it would be easy to get pictures of these colossal organisms. On the contrary, I am not the first photographer to complain about these mysterious and elusive photogenic characteristics. Snap a picture and... their amazing attributes are reduced to nothing more than a picture of the woods. You must be cunning and creative to hunt down the images that reveal the feel of weight, height and age - as when you stood next to them. What helped me this time around was the rain and mist that these trees have an inseparable relationship with. Without this mist, the coastal sequoias will not live. This was the first time that I was able to photograph this environment entirely before that rain was falling to much. In the case of “Hollowed”, the cloudy mist and fog is just what I needed to add depth and mystery to the background of this giant fire carved hollow tree. If the mist became too thin or started breaking up, the picture of the upper canopy would be “blown-out” and too contrast-like. Before and after shooting as many shots as I could before the camera needed wiping down, I had to take several rain breaks by standing inside this enormous tree’s trunk.

A walk among these ancient redwoods and Douglas fir trees gives you an intimate look at this magnificent ridge-top redwood forest, with its complement of understory symbiotic plants. These high, wind-whipped slopes and ridges offer redwoods a less enticing habitat than can be found in lower protected valleys.


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