Humbled by Humboldt Redwoods

On a road trip up along the Pacific Coast of Northern California past Mendocino and Fort Bragg during the summer we were recommended seeing the giant Redwood trees another two hours drive further North. In particular to find a forest called Humboldt Redwood Forest as, this is a virgin forest never harvested for its wood.

We went via a shortcut the locals told us about over towards the main highway on a road called 480 turns. This road took us high above the tree tops and was indeed exactly 480 turns. The view was truly breathtaking from the highest peak looking out towards the East. I’ve opened my set of photographs with this shot.

The scale of these trees is immense, the statistics are humbling. Circumferences over 55 feet, 350 feet high and some are over 3,000 years old.

To capture these giant trees with my camera and do-them-justice, I knew it would be a tough task to achieve, especially as one of my greatest influences and inspirations in photography is Ansel Adams.

Why do I say it will be “a tough task to achieve”, when I am standing in the middle of this beautiful forest. The sheer scale, perspective, contrast and tonality of these tree’s pose technical challenges such as the dynamic range, depth-of-field, angle of view needed. Along with the creativity of trying to show such a three dimension space on a flat photograph that still captures the pure sense of scale this forest has.

I choose to use black & white, and focus on the textures and perspective with a fine granularity and contrast to keep the resolution as high as possible. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them.


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