Photographing big trees is always a challenge. It’s almost impossible to fit sprawling old sentinels into a frame in a way that does justice to their size or majesty. The first time I visited Redwoods National Park in northern California, I had a dinky point and shoot film camera and all I could think to do was aim my camera skywards. I ended up with a dull roll of tapering tree trunks. Oh well. Redwoods are practically immortal – they cannot be killed by fire or disease – they have no need for photographic indelibility.
This time visiting the Redwoods, I was better prepared, armed with my trusty Olympus E3 and seven years of daily practice at capturing life through a lens. I avoided the tired shot of trunks pointing at the sky and instead tried to find the faces in the trees. Many of these giants have stood for thousands of years, longer than most civilizations, and the passage of time is written on their bark, trunks and branches. In my quest for a few worthy portraits, the mighty Redwoods literally brought me to my knees.