Friday, August 10, 2012
On the morning of Day 6, I had the much appreciated opportunity to sleep in. Climbing steep slopes at high elevation for the past 5 days left my my body sore, and the hard ground was quite comfortable.
I spent the morning scouting the Schulman Grove. This time, I kept an eye out for close-up shots. There are many very wonderful trees in this grove, but I didn’t find anything comparable to shot I captured yesterday.
I returned to the Patriarch Grove later that morning, and scouted a grove far to the south of the main area. Many of the trees here were large and quite healthy — not exactly what I was looking for. I stumbled upon a large bristlecone that was recently sheered in half. The needles were still green on the fallen portion, and fresh sap was oozed from the wound. There must have been a violent thunderstorm with high winds just before my arrival.
After spending much of the day scouting, I found one last subject — the root system of a toppled Bristlecone Pine. The shallow roots bore the same tortured appearance as the rest of the tree. I waited until dusk to shoot a series of photos. I shot a roll of Velvia 50 while there was still enough light, then loaded a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 for some long exposures. The final exposure was taken during the blue hour, and lasted 7 minutes @ f/32.
I felt a sense of satisfaction when I returned to my truck that evening. It was a great trip, but I looked forward to my drive home the next morning.