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PHO­TOGRAPH­ING TREES IS HARDER THAN IT SEEMS. First of all, ev­ery­one knows what trees look like so how do you cap­ture them in a unique way that show­cases their nat­u­ral beauty? Sec­ond, of­ten­times woods and forests are so densely packed, it’s tough to get a vis­ual bead on your sub­ject. And third, just about every pho­tog­ra­pher we know has cap­tured trees with their cam­eras. They’re just such amaz­ing, ever-present sub­jects, it’s hard to re­sist pho­tograph­ing them. With all that in mind, we asked read­ers not to un­der­es­ti­mate our Trees, Woods, and Forests as­sign­ment. We knew read­ers had tons of pho­tos of trees but how many of them truly stood out? We found out as we re­ceived a record num­ber of sub­mis­sions for this as­sign­ment, many of them quite good. We only wanted to see the for­est for the trees and that’s ex­actly what we got. Here are our six fa­vorite im­ages of Trees, Woods, and Forests.


“This tree is in Pa­cific Grove, Cal­i­for­nia, just off of Light­house Av­enue,” Christo­pher Axe writes. “I re­ally love its quirk­i­ness and the in­cred­i­ble de­tail in its branches.” He shot it with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a 24-105mm f/4 lens at 27mm and f/19. The im­age was pro­cessed as a 32-bit HDR in Light­room and then edited in Pho­to­shop. “I re­moved most of the tele­phone lines and added a new sky with more color,” he adds.


“I shot this pho­to­graph dur­ing the blue hour, about 4:30 in the morn­ing, from Step­toe Butte in the Palouse of Wash­ing­ton,” Donna Caplinger ex­plains. She used a Nikon D800 and a 500mm lens at f/16, ISO 320, 1/4 sec­ond. © Donna Caplinger

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