While standing alongside the northern Wisconsin lake in Vilas County in late July, I turned to the forest behind me to evaluate potential images.
This great stand of red pines stood straight to the sky, inviting me over to enjoy their forest-floor carpet of heavy pine needles. Each tree was as stately as the next.
Honestly, before I mounted my camera to the tripod, I just stood in admiration of these trees. Imagine what they’ve seen throughout their years here along the shores of Muskellunge Lake. I also wondered how many people had passed through this area, missing the beauty the red pines had to offer.
I spent quite some time among the pines, working to bring this sense of “being with them” into the final image.
As I reviewed the scene, I noticed the hiking trail leading off into the distant forest. I had taken a few other images, but not quite satisfied. The trail leading away was to become a key element in the image, though not dominant.
To capture the uniqueness of each tree, I chose to isolate on the lower trunks. These were nicely offset by the heavy pine needles on the ground. Without seeing the tree canopy, the thick blanket of needles lets the viewer know the canopy is quite dense.
Being late July, the non-pine brush was still green, providing a nice contrast against the red of the pine bark and needles.
Using two trees, one on either side of the image, frames the total scene.
And the final trick - keeping everthing in focus all the way through the image! Don’t you feel as if you are there, standing among the pines, and looking deep into the forest?
File ID: PHP_IMG_14530
1Ds Mark III, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 IS L II USM
focal length 47 mm
ISO 50, 0.8 second, f/18
spot metering, manual, Gitzo tripod, 2 second mirror lock-up delay
Crystal-Muskellunge State Park, Vilas County, Northern Highland State Forest, Sayner, Wisconsin