Californian Giants

Thursday, March 11th, 2010 at 13:21

I recently saw National Geographic Magazine’s Top Ten Photographs of 2009 aired on cable television here in Australia and whilst all ten were breathtaking images in their own right, the image that took the number one placing truly, truly took my breath away.

I’ve spent a decent amount of time in California and I love anything with a distinct flavour of nature, so why oh why had I not heard of the Californian Redwoods?

Michael “Nick” Nichols, National Geographic photographer and the genius that took the number one image, spent 21 days in the Redwood forests trying to photograph these mammoth trees in a way that would evoke the sense of awe one is left with after seeing the trees in the flesh. If memory serves me correctly, Nichols in fact spent a year going back to the Redwood forests trying to figure out how to adequately photograph a 300 foot tree, with little success and many images of tree trunks or tree branches and the like.

Nichols and his team eventually came up with the ingenious plan of building a dolly to hoist three Canon EOS1 DSLR cameras side-by-side, up to the 100 foot wide crown of this gigantic tree, each camera shooting a frame, then dropping the dolly down three metres and repeating the process to the base of the tree. Seamlessly stitched together, the final image is made up of 84 individual frames and the result is phenomenal.

To our fearless leader, Mr. Garion Hall, woodworker extraordinaire… MDF all the way!

Watch the video about the photograph (and three others) here!

Tags: , , , ,