November 19, 2010

James Balog's Tree

I have the James Balog photography book Tree: A New Vision of the American Forest checked out from the library right now, and it's absolutely stunning.  Sadly, the library has the smaller-format second printing of the book.  I'd love to have seen these photos in their larger format versions.

Balog's book chronicles his year or photographing some of America's champion trees.  Some of the photos are more staged images of smaller trees with simple, white, fabric backdrops, but the most impressive images are huge, stitched photograph collages of the most mammoth of our great trees - redwoods, sequoias - massive specimens that have already are thousands of years old and hundreds of feet high.

Balog found it impossible to get single images of these legends, so he used the rigging of great tree climbers and instead took hundreds of large-format images and used photo editing software to edit them together into some of the most impressive single images that I've ever seen.  They're technologically brilliant and absolutely beautiful.

Now I just need to figure out how to get a poster-sized version of that Stagg image.

Oh, and how to get to the Angel Oak.

Check out more of Balog's images - sadly in smaller, web size - on these sites.

PS- Ironically, the image up top turns out to be from a different photographer, Michael Nichols.

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