Can’t see the forest for the trees

Photographing large trees is always a challenge. From a distance it’s hard to imply scale and up close it’s very difficult to capture enough of the tree to really appreciate its size. I took this image after a nice lunch at Dog Lake in Yosemite. It’s a simple image but I thought that it really depicted the feeling of being in the forest and experiencing the scale of the place. The perspective distortion, from the fisheye lens, was exactly what the image needed.

Making the image was pretty straight forward.  I attached my Canon 15mm fisheye lens and pointed the camera straight up on my tripod.  I had to use an angled viewfinder to compose the scene or force my body into a position that I really didn’t want to be in. I positioned the camera so that just a speck of sun was showing and then stopped my aperture all the way down to f/18. Anytime you have a narrow aperture and a small point light source you’ll get a starburst effect. Shutter speed ended up being 1/30th at ISO 100.