Land before time

Near the top of the canyon, on late-spring mornings electric-pink rhododendrons bask in splashes of early sunlight. Follow the trail a short distance and it seems that you’re witnessing a competition for light, the rhododendrons spreading and stretching to get their share, but within a few hundred yards your route descends into old-growth redwoods benefiting from a multi-century head-start. The redwood here tower over…

Style points

Conducting photo workshops allows me to observe hundreds of other photographers each year. It’s clear that each brings his or her own personality to the act of creating an image, from the way they search for compositions, to the things they notice (and don’t notice). I could go on and on about any of these differences, but today’s image really underscores a particular aspect…

Naturally saturated

Okay, let’s have a show of hands: Who read my previous post? If you did, you no doubt remember my lament that photographing a redwood forest isn’t easy. Problem number one is the bright sky that always seems to find its way through even the most dense forest canopy, scattering small patches of sunlight that simply don’t play well with the prevailing shade. Rain…

Seeing the forest for the trees

Photographing a redwood forest is an exercise in humility. Even on the brightest of days, a mature redwood forest is twilight-dark, not a problem until you realize that its nearly cave-like setting is invariably marred by random spots of daylight that seem designed to taunt your camera’s limited dynamic range. Any attempt to capture the forest’s exquisite shadow detail is peppered with distracting blown…