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The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

Bristlecone Pine, 1999

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.

Bristlecone Moonrise, 1999

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

Coral Sky, 1999

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.

Sunset at Bristlecone, 1999

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.

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Concepts: Sun, Bristlecone pine, Photographic filter, English-language films, California, Ecliptic, Pine

Entities: Bishop, Michael Reichmann, About 15 miles

Tags: Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Patriarch Grove, Big Pine, split neutral density filter, Big Pine California, Schneider Apo-Tele-Xenar lens, harsh afternoon sunlight, Death Valley shoot, barren trees, surreal landscape, stronger images, cold mountain, perfect close, long drive, unique location, photographing, trip, valley, polarizer, Rounding, half hour, planet, gear