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Redwood Forest


To give you a sense of the scale, that fallen tree across the stream is at least 5 feet in diameter.

There is a story about the these woods. They are in northern California and contain the 5 tallest trees in the world. Naturalists try to keep the location of the tallest trees hidden because people inadvertently destroy the forest around the tree to go see it. In the 1970's the Nixon administration relaxed logging rules ahead of the enactment of laws that were to go into effect protecting these lands. As a result, Timber companies logged Around the clock to get as much of the old growth forest as they could. They stopped at midnight on the last day they could work and were just 300 feet shy of what is now the tallest tree in the world.

When these trees fall over and die they cross each other on the forest floor and eventually rot into the earth. But that takes a long time, and in the mean time, the forest floor becomes very un-flat, with huge holes being formed by the voids in criss-crossed trees. So off trail hiking can be a challenge. You have to be very careful. Also cougars roam these lands. A few months after I visited, a cougar attacked an elderly couple on trail not very far from where I took this photo. The cougar grabbed the man's head and would not let go until the woman bashed it over the head with a log. Both people lived. In our modern insulated age, we often forget that the earth is wild. I always love the moments where I remember that.

Technical notes: This was taken at around 4pm on an overcast summer's day. The cloud cover was quite light and the sky was very bright. On the forest floor the light is almost all completely top down. The shadows on the underside of the roots of that fallen tree were very very dark. So I decided that I would not try to get any detail in the sky at all, just let it go white. And set my exposure to just give me a bit of detail in the shadows. I used color negative film, which has a latitude of over 8 stops, and that helped a lot. Still the film as it came back looked very blah. But after enough nursing of exposure and curve adjustments I started to get something I liked. In fact this image shows more than the human eye could fully realize had you been standing there. ( the human eye will shut down to protect itself from the harsh radiation in the sky, making the shadows go very dark. It's only when you step directly under the canopy of that root ball that you see any real detail.) (This technique is sort of a poor man's HDR. Because my film scanner does not make pixel perfect repeatable scans, I can not do HDR very effectively right now) The inclusion of the texture in this case, in addition to helping the antique atmosphere, brings detail back into the blown out white areas.

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Reader Comments (4)

Nice art so artistic
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July 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBusby SEO Challenge

great to see such beautiful work of art.

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFine Art Gallery Ireland

its such a good blog thanks for the view

November 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBusby SEO Test

nice view it so relaxing

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