This subject is featured in Issue #2 of The Luminous Landscape Video Journal
The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest
About 15 miles south of Bishop is Big Pine California. Here Hwy 168 continue to the east and in few miles leads to the road to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. At the end of the road lies the Patriarch Grove at some 11,320 feet of altitude. These trees are among the oldest living things on earth. Some have been dated as more than 4,000 years old. One of the most surreal landscape on the planet.
The night before the full moon was scheduled to rise simultaneous with sunset at our planned Death Valley shoot we found ourselves photographing 11,000 feet higher up in the Patriarch Grove. The moon obliged by rising a half hour before sunset showing exquisite detail due to the thin cold mountain air.
Taken with 300mm Schneider Apo-Tele-Xenar lens.
Bristlecone Horizon, 1999
On my first trip to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest I had no success in photographing them. I shot in harsh afternoon sunlight and neglected to use a polarizer. This trip I know better what to expect and consequently came away with some stronger images.
Photographed with a Schneider 90mm APO-Makro lens
I used a coral-tinted split neutral density filter to hold back the sky for this photograph. It's a bit over-the-top but it does convey the other-worldliness of this unique location.
The day was over. We packed up our gear and started the long drive from the Patriarch Grove down to the town of Big Pine and the valley below. Rounding a bend we saw this scene, with the moon just kissing the cliff-side and its barren trees. A perfect close to a great day of photography.