Thursday, November 25, 2010

California Redwoods Photography

   Whenever I have an opportunity to visit the California Redwoods I do; and this trip to San Francisco was no exception. Ideally the optimum time to visit these parks would be in late may an early June. The classic shot that includes rhododendrons still eludes me to this point. I prefer the Northern Redwood forests especially the Lady Bird Johnson Grove near Crescent City as pictured here on a Colorless November day.
   On our return drive home from San Francisco we visited Muir Woods National Monument, named after famed conservationist John Muir. I was somewhat disappointed to the extent that there was so much under growth and that it is very confining to stay on the trails; some of the trails are actually wood planks. There is a $5.00 entrance fee and parking can be a real issue here as well.
   California Redwoods are some of the tallest living things on our planet. I was interested to learn that they can achieve heights of nearly 400 feet whereas the giant sequoias of Yellowstone won’t achieve quite that stature, topping out at around 310 feet. Giant Sequoias are however in terms of total volume the largest living plant on earth.
Many people including myself wonder about the lack of red color that traditionally has been associated with this species. Most images I have seen of these giants lack considerable color. The moisture content of the bark is really the key ingredient in bringing out the reddish tones. The longer it has been raining the more color will be seen.
   Photographing the redwoods is challenging and humbling, as settling on a good composition is tough. I try and look for an open area clear of undergrowth with several large trees. Also trying to give a sense of scale is hard as well. One of the finest images I’ve seen was from Landscape Photographer Floris Van Breugel titled
“ Life Among Giants “ not only is this image aesthetically pleasing and beautiful with Dogwoods in the foreground, a pair of deer in the lower left hand area give this photograph scale. My next trip down to this area I hope to visit Humboldt Redwoods State Park, which contains some of the tallest specimens around.

1 comment:

M. D. Vaden said...

I seem to find a good example of the "classic" Rhododendron photograph is rather hard to capture. Much of it is being there at the right time for flowers, in the right weather.

Got a few okay Rhody shots now, but still want a dozen more good ones.

Personally, I like the bright pink buds almost mosre than the open flower truss.

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