The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is an amazing place. Up in the white mountains, across the valley from the Eastern Sierra, stands the oldest living things on earth; many are over 4,000 years.
I took this image during one of the fall Eastern Sierra workshops. A few days before the workshop I did something that made my back incredibly angry. This tree is a pretty good representation of what my lower back felt like most of the trip. The only saving grace was that Gary’s brother, Jay, was along and was able to take over driving duty for much of the trip; I’m not sure how I would have made it without him. Ironically, the only time that my back was comfortable was when I was out shooting. Walking around with a camera; good. Sitting in a car; not so much.
This tree resides in the Schulman Grove. While the actual oldest tree isn’t marked, for fear of vandalism, there is speculation that it may be at or near this location. To make the image I used my 15mm fisheye lens and my ground tripod. Distances in this scene are wildly exaggerated due to the distortion of the lens. I setup, on my knees, less than a foot from the tree to frame this scene. Like many fall evenings in California the skies were cloudless and blue but there was still a hint of color on the horizon. An exposure of 4 seconds, at f/11 was required to bring it out.