Tuesday, February 5, 2013


The Illuminated Tree, 2012

I worked for years attempting to capture this particular quality of light. In the past, I often saw the glowing sunlight in these smaller trees. The lit branches and needles were in contrast with the darker trunks of the surrounding giants, and the shaft of sunlight usually was limited to a very narrow corridor.

I think that this type of lighting within the deep forest is very similar to that of stage lighting. It is as if there is a solo performer on the stage, and that performer is illuminated with a high-key light from behind and from above and off to one side. The angles provide the opportunity for the needles, lichen, and branches to glow. The illusion is that the tree seems to glow from within. Or is it an illusion?

I took this image last November while on an outing with David Mast somewhere up Lost Man Creek. I am very pleased with this interpretation of the lighting. This is what I see when I am in the forest and come upon such a scene. Until last night, I never was able to create an image that carried this particular essence of a back lit tree.