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Thread: Could a Large Format Redwood Tree Portrait compete with National Geographic's photo?

  1. #31
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Could a Large Format Redwood Tree Portrait compete with National Geographic's pho

    The image has never been digitally copied, and I am afraid that when the Park had the negs enlarged, it was long before the web and websites! LOL!

    If I have the time, I'll try to scan the negs tonight or later in the week --or scan the contacts of the latest set of negs I made (1986) if I can find them (I have not been able to find the actual negs from that shoot for years) -- and post them here. Actually, I have a set from that last shoot that I can find easily enough -- I used a female model and I have the negs of her in the nude, but have always wanted to print the neg of her with her clothes still on. Her breasts were ample, but the top of her breasts reflected light as bad as a bald man's head way down there at the base of the tree -- visually not very appealing.

    The tree is in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park -- way north of the areas you have searched.

    Vaughn

  2. #32

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    Re: Could a Large Format Redwood Tree Portrait compete with National Geographic's pho

    Hello All,

    I have reviewed Darius and Tabitha Kinsey's "This Was Logging," and their "Kinsey Photographer Volumes I & II." These folks managed some amazingly fine photographs of the early logging days, but I have yet to find a full tree portrait in their material. The focus of the photography seems to be the loggers and their equipment with the big trees as a background. Is there some other published work by them that might contain a full tree portrait? I note that they did stereo photos as well as large format, so perhaps there are some stereo photographs floating around with full tree photos in them.

    A more thorough search of Hendy Woods SP has yet to yield an old growth redwood that can be viewed clearly from a distance, and the park ranger isn't returning my calls.

    I now have an old Korona 5X7 that needs needs some reviving and a Turner Reich 8X10 Series II convertible lens on order, so perhaps I'll have a chance to photograph my thumb in a few more months.

  3. #33

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    Re: Could a Large Format Redwood Tree Portrait compete with National Geographic's pho

    Quote Originally Posted by NightHeron View Post
    Hello All,

    I'm a newbie interested in finding out if it is possible to take full sized redwood tree portraits using large format that are somewhere near the quality of the photo that Michael Nichols achieved for National Geographic.
    Within reason, I don't see why not, at least to a certain size print or enlargement. You may even be able to take a higher quality photo in some respects, eliminating artifacts from stitching. You would almost need to find an elevated position looking straight across to mid-height on a redwood trunk. I believe that would be better than tilt-shift due to the way shadows appear, that I don't think TS will cover as adequately as a single frame. Trails to hunt include James Irvine trail and Brown Creek trail in Prairie Creek. Possibly walking off trail upslope from Prairie Creek trail. Nichols had climbers hide and hold lights in the canopy and you will not have that luxury.

    Recently, I made a 60 inch frame of a lower trunk with digital 5DS, a 50 megapixel camera. There we enough detail to see individual needles I know I can take a single full height redwood image with it if I go up a hill. If I can do it, they you can certainly do it with large format. Enjoy the work !!

    Can't share related examples yet since I just registered today. But if you search mdvaden + redwoods + discovery ... you will find my stuff. The redwoods is where I photograph most often.

  4. #34

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    Re: Could a Large Format Redwood Tree Portrait compete with National Geographic's pho

    Welcome Redwood_Forest!

    One place to see some interesting redwood photographs is James Balog's "Tree". He shot some trees in 4x5, and others using the digital stitching and roping technique that started this thread.

    I used to live near the Alonzo Stagg tree, and I know that tree has no clear view of the whole thing... I once climbed a small tree near it and shot straight across at just a small section of bark. I know how it feels to view a great redwood from partway up. So I was stunned and impressed that Balog photographed the same tree from bottom to top.

    A friend in the forest where I lived, Mike Law, wrote a book "To Find the Biggest Tree" which is a great reference for trees to look for.

    Hope you get a chance to chat with Vaughn, who also spends a lot of time in the redwoods...

  5. #35
    Les
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    Re: Could a Large Format Redwood Tree Portrait compete with National Geographic's pho

    If you want to do it just so you can say that you've done it, that's silly. Not sure what is your reason. Can it be done ? Yes, but there will be cost....rent a cherry picker and it needs to be tied with lines, so it does not move during exposure.

    John's suggestion is what I followed (before even reading it :>) at Sequoia NP....and got a vertical pano of Gen. Grant (I believe). I used my DSLR handheld, using longer lens (105mm)....and stitch it all without issues. Sure, you get some branches in the way, but overall the tree was clearly visible. There were some folks at the bottom - adding to the scale of this huge tree.

    Les

  6. #36

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    Re: Could a Large Format Redwood Tree Portrait compete with National Geographic's pho

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    Welcome Redwood_Forest!

    One place to see some interesting redwood photographs is James Balog's "Tree". He shot some trees in 4x5, and others using the digital stitching and roping technique that started this thread.

    I used to live near the Alonzo Stagg tree, and I know that tree has no clear view of the whole thing... I once climbed a small tree near it and shot straight across at just a small section of bark. I know how it feels to view a great redwood from partway up. So I was stunned and impressed that Balog photographed the same tree from bottom to top.

    A friend in the forest where I lived, Mike Law, wrote a book "To Find the Biggest Tree" which is a great reference for trees to look for.

    Hope you get a chance to chat with Vaughn, who also spends a lot of time in the redwoods...
    The thread poster may not even be following anymore, but the subject is interesting. Here's a composition from years ago, within hours of a Tsunami hitting the redwood coast from Japan's earthquake. I was in Prairie Creek Redwoods which I mentioned in the last post. This photo was from a "point and shoot" Canon SX10 IS. The view is almost looking eye level straight across to the upper part of a 300 ft. (+) coast redwood. About 170 feet of trunk is exposed, If the lower tree wasn't present, a full redwood image could have been taken. But I've seen other redwoods in the same park like one called "Hairpin" where the entire tree is visible, with tripod placement available looking mid-trunk area.

    This image file will max-out around the 20" x 30" print size for reproduction from digital.

    M. D. Vaden

    www.mdvaden.com/redwoods.shtml || www.vadenphotography.com

  7. #37

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    Re: Could a Large Format Redwood Tree Portrait compete with National Geographic's pho

    I have a similar image made with a 159 mm super WA on 7x17, turned vertically. Ferns at the bottom, tip of the tree touches the top. No stitching or other digicrap, juts a straight print.

  8. #38
    LF/ULF Carbon Printer Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Re: Could a Large Format Redwood Tree Portrait compete with National Geographic's pho

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    I have a similar image made with a 159 mm super WA on 7x17, turned vertically. Ferns at the bottom, tip of the tree touches the top. No stitching or other digicrap, juts a straight print.
    That's what I'm talking' about. Bravo Jim.

  9. #39

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    Re: Could a Large Format Redwood Tree Portrait compete with National Geographic's pho

    I wonder if NightHeron ever did make some images...
    ~nicholas
    lifeofstawa
    stawastawa at gmail

  10. #40

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    Re: Could a Large Format Redwood Tree Portrait compete with National Geographic's pho

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    I have a similar image made with a 159 mm super WA on 7x17, turned vertically. Ferns at the bottom, tip of the tree touches the top. No stitching or other digicrap, juts a straight print.

    Approximately how far away were you from the tree? Redwood? Curious about the relation between focal length and distance for that kind of camera.
    M. D. Vaden

    www.mdvaden.com/redwoods.shtml || www.vadenphotography.com

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