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Photographing Yosemite: Digital Field Guide by Lewis Kemper

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23.3. How Can I Get the Best Shot?

Sequioa trees are hard to capture! I like putting in some of the surrounding trees to give scale to the image and to show off the sequioa's tremendous girth (see figure 23.1). Using the right equipment will help you get a great shot.

Figure 23.1. One of the larger sequoia trees in the grove in context with some of the pines and firs on an autumn morning. Taken at ISO 100, f/20, 1/6 second with a 17mm lens.

23.3.1. Equipment

Because sequoia trees are so large, wide-angle lenses are needed in the grove.

23.3.1.1. Lenses

Most of the trees in the Tuolumne Grove are so big and so close it is almost impossible to find a tree that you can capture in its entirety. I like to photograph the bases of the trees with wide-angle lenses in the 14-24mm range and include some of the other trees in the forest for scale. You can also try using short telephoto lenses in the 70-200mm range to compress some of the dogwood blossoms against the red tree bark of the sequoia trees (see figure 23.2).

If you do try to capture a whole tree in this grove, you will definitely be pointing your camera upward. Doing this causes a lot of distortion and makes the trees appear to bend inward. You can use this to emphasize the height of the trees. If you want to have straight trees, you will need to fix them later in an image-editing program or use a tilt-shift lens. These lenses ...

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