James Irvine Trail, Redwoods National and State Parks

James Irvine Trail, Redwoods National and State Parks

On my one full day in Redwoods National & State Parks in Northern California, my wife and I made the most of it by taking in a long hike, about a 12 mile loop, to take in as much of the amazing scenery as possible. Our hike through Prairie Creek State Park took us down the Miner's Ridge Trail, down to the beach at Gold Bluffs, up through the amazing Fern Canyon, and finally back along the James Irvine Trail to return where we started.

While all of this was spectacular, and that cannot be overstated, we were almost done the hike and I had not yet really slowed down to take a photograph I was excited about. The Redwoods are a difficult place to photograph - the light at ground level, 300 feet below the redwood canopy, is really fairly dark, except where sunlight breaks through. While everything was beautiful, I was concerned about managing that contrast on film. However, as we were reaching the end of the hike we were finally over the final hill crest with no real direct sunlight to contend with and I found a couple of opportunities to try to capture our wonderful surroundings.

Despite that, I still struggled to manage the contrast - I likely would have developed my film differently if I'd realized how the negatives would have turned out, but I am happy with the results nonetheless. I picked out this one stand of redwoods in part because I was also drawn to the tree leaning in from the left - hopefully an additional point of interest to give some order to the chaos of branches all around it.

Tachihara 4x5 | Caltar II-N 150 f/5.6 | f/22 | 4s | Ilford FP4+ | Tripod | HC110(h)

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