Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by sg_adams, Aug 20, 2009.
Yes, but only two particular trees. One live, one not so.
Above shot on Provia with Crown Graphic 23 and in near panic.
This is the not so live tree. And the reason it's called Lightning Ridge is because after this last trip where I litterally ran for the van and some unsulation after see lightning sparkling all around, the place is no longer called Bristlecone Ridge.
This last shot was made using a Rolleicord III and FP4 film.
The Insulation used for the next hour was sitting in my bus with it's four rubber tires, sitting on a plastic ice chest with my feet on an insulite pad and my fingers crossed just because. Not the first time either... The things we do to bring you these crappy images...
Purple Haze was shot after working with the not so live tree right at sunset alpineglow. Never expose the last frame I say. Make sure there is enough film in the holder or camera until sure the crazy light is no more; in other words, dark.
After exposing the image below I pretty much packed up as quick as I could and moved, quickly to reset as it looked to do this colorful thing, and the living tree is in the shade for sunset, but this I thought I could get should I be able to get the rig set up and focussed before I lost the color.
Purple Haze is Provia film and making use of my 103mm Trioptar on the Crown 23.
I'm not sure how old this not so live tree was when it finally kicked the tree bucket, but I'll guess about 2500. Note that it is sheltering a living bristlecone in it's lee. I refer to this deadwood tree as Britlecone Dog in my notes due to the animal like root sticking out to the left...
Same set up as mentioned above. Shot right as the sun is on the horizon which in this case is the low point of the Sierra back over Mammoth. The location of this ridge is directly east of Bishop in the White Mtns, and at about 11,000 ft, whcih with having the sunsetting far away over the low point of Mammoth rather than the nearer Sierra Crest (early summer only), which two thousand feet higher and forty or more miles closer, offers some of the most sublime alpine glow and under cloud bounce light color I have ever experienced.
Not so classic but exposed in the classic tradition. Nikkor 28-105mm. This is an old image made when I first found this little ridge and the frirst time I shot these trees. It is also one of my favorite images made in this area. If not exactly classic equipment, it is a scan of a hand made print.
I also want you all to notice something about this tree and the idea that these are truely old living things. Notice how the moutnain has eroded away from the roots that at one time were just under the rock surface? The mountain has eroded a good two feet long after this tree was of good size.
Great pictures SG, I am in awe of your photographic images, and the trouble you go to bring them to us.
Please keep posting so we can enjoy your work.
Deadwood is an example of the very last possible glow from the sun as it is almost gone behind the distant range, and the type of sittuation where having to reload a film holder is absolutely not possible as this subtle glow lasts only a couple seconds depending on conditions. The three exposures prior to this were not so witchy looking, and the ground cover was brighter and lacked the dark but present glow.
This was a trip where I took out the Crown 4x5. And for this I used a 162mm Optar. The film is Provia.
Enough Already has a nice look to it that lends itself to the fact that it is Fuji Pro400H print film I started using last year as a trial run. And this not so live tree is a good to point out that a slight move from head on to a little to the side really changes the composition. I like the witchy headon scarecrow look but the front side makes use of the incline and angle devise I like to use to add a little tension to an otherwise static landscape.
I think the straighton or centered stuff like Deadwood or White Mountain Bristlecone would not be even so so without the added tension of a dramatic sky.
Enough Already as mentioned is 400H film exposed with the Crown 23 and using a 65mm f8 Super Angulon Lens.
Alright, Tree burn out... but if you are wondering why I have been shooting these same trees for many years now I'd just have to say I really like to hang out close by to where they are. I can relax by the car and read, get camera gear in order, pack for another hiking trip over in the Sierra, watch the weather and light change for miles around, and add maybe one or two more images to my collection of these two trees, a few others, and hopefully not get electrocutically sparkplugged between earth and cloud...
Wonderful pictures, really love them, especially the first and fourth picture!
I'm mainly doing B&W work, but for the beautiful colours of the sky at the end of the day I still shoot colour as well
Well, I know people take a lot of tree shots - I certainly do. But I do like a good tree shot. And these are great tree shots.
I agree...these are superb tree shots. I love "Afterglow" and "Purple Haze". Excellent work as always SG, and great, informative narratives.
Eleven thousand feet! How's the air up there SG? This lowlander would not have the wits to use a P&S let alone a 4X5 at that altitude.
Wonderful images, and I congratulate you on escaping the lightning bolts! The one with the rainbow is awesome. There is nothing wrong with returning to the same subject repeatedly. I think Bill Jay said something to that effect. The 20th photo of the same subject should be better than your first, or something like that. Anyhow, a great subject, and nice seeing those.
SG - This is truly outstanding work. These trees are full of life!
Awsome SG! I love taking pictures of trees, of course around here not too many as interesting as those, excellent work.
Truly excellent. But don't you know that you should be applying HDR to those images and jacking the saturation dial to 11?
I'm a big fan, SG. Afterglow can very well fit in the archives of National Geographic Society. Amazing work, thanks for sharing.
What a wonderful series of photographs. You have captured a wide range of colors and tones.
Is that a Berlebach tripod? I used to have one of those. A perfect tool for this job.
Awesome pictures. Blown away by the detail in the sky. And on slide film too... Wow!
Yup, I really like my Berlebach tripod. It's the 2042 Report model with the tilting ball center post. Perfect for my small Graphics and does nicels all the way up to a 4x5 Graphic View. I also use a Velbon El Carmaign 540 and backpacking the little Velbon Maxi that weighs only two lbs.
However, are you sure that the tree is dead as a whole? My understanding was that only strips or parts of these ancients are alive at any time. At least the newer growth is probably clonal.....
No matter, thanks for giving us these views of a representative of one of the oldest living things on earth.
Really Nice .. I love the Glow! I think you could approach a publisher and offer your "Trees" collection!
Thanks for posting!
Pretty dure the dead tree is dead, and the live tree stands alone and does have the side strips of bark that feed the tops. The roots of the bristlecones do stay close to the surface to get the snow melt and rains quickly before they dry up in the arid desert mountains. It dumped rain on me a few times this last trip where I made it up to the spot a couple times and it dries up pretty fast. The only time I've had trouble on the dirt road is when there is recent snow that saturates the packed dirt and then it's,"why did I ever sell my Land Cruiser FJ40?"
What's HDR? Saturation I ussually turn down slightly if Brightness and Contrast don't get things looking normal.
The only one I turned up here was the Purple Haze image where Ihadto darken and intensify to get something that looked like it looks, what I call the reverse sunset. Maybe a little too much, but it is the wood that really stands out on all these if you see the much sharper original scans or prints. I have one 30" print that is not represented here from a 6x9 that is pretty impressive. Also, this is only what I had scanned. There is probably over a hundred assorted shots including more 35mm B&W and Slides, Holga images, more 6x9 of course, and a few 4x5's. Some of the Nikon slides are pretty good as I used to do pretty good on the move with that 28-105 zoom. Like I mentioned, I hang out close by. If I like the look of something I'll go out and shoot. If it's bla I'll eat and read and re-pack.
I also talked about being on a ridge. A short walk one way and I look down to the west 5,500 ft to Bishop and up and down the entire Owens Valley, across to the Sierra Crest from Whitney to Mt Dana, and east overlooks the southwestern basins and ranges of the Great Basin country of which the White Mtns are the western and highest boundry. Last fall I ventured over to eastern Nevada and checked out Great Basin Nat Park which is almost the eastern terminous of the ranges and basins (there's a couple smaller ranges to the east) and Wheeler Peak which is the highest to the east, and checked out the bristlecones there. I may be going back in four weeks.
But the point of the above comments is that I can watch and determin a good idea of what the light might do by sunset. Make pretty good weather forcasts, and so forth. Good stuff, neat place. Hardly anyone ever stops either. Folks just drive by occasionally and wave howdy. Only once did anyone ever stop with a camera. And the guy left after about fifteen minutes during the middle of the afternoon.
This view north, if you look in the distance to the left you can see the road cut winding along on the east side of the ridge running north.
And when it's a hundred degrees plus down in Bishop, it rarely gets over 75-80 up hight. Actually can get downright cold to freezing anytime of the year. Froze my nuggies a few times. I ussually drive back down to about 7,000 feet in the pinon pine to camp. Much warmer and better sleeping.
Outstanding color. Beautiful pictures.
Great stuff as always SG, appreciate your posts every time.
Separate names with a comma.