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Old Trees. August 22, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
Tags: , , , , , ,

White pines, one of the taller tree species which grow in New England. These are out behind the Hall Tavern Farm in Charlemont:

There are four or five of these great things growing amongst a younger forest – how they were spared the saw is a mystery to me, but they’re inspirational enough for someone to have built a few benches for the contemplative visitor:

Those are both tilt-shift photos, although that gets lost in this venue. The first shot has a good deal of tilt, the second a full boat of swing planted right up the tree and catching the bench on its way by.

Large trees these are, at least for these parts. Two tall men might not reach around them.

I’ll be back.


1. Annie Anderson - August 23, 2012

When I lived in Guilford, we called trees like this “Grandmother trees.” Our theory was that they grew up near stone walls and weren’t worth clearing, so the 18th or 19th century farmers left them be. Another theory was that farmers left a few deliberately, to give their sheep or cows a little shade. Or that the maples were good syrup producers. My son was married under one of them — they seemed benevolent and benedictory.

Does tilt-shift mean you actually moved the camera while taking the shot? (I’m not a photographer, so forgive the question if it’s elementary.)

— Annie

2. littlebangtheory - August 24, 2012

Hi Annie,

I like your thoughts about the Big Trees, though I suspect the reasons they get spared are as varied as the trees themselves. We have white pines two towns away which are pushing 250 years old and are truly magnificent – and at one point a hundred or so years ago a lumber company set up a mill across the dirt road from them, and somehow didn’t get around to cutting them. Go figure.

Tilt-shift photography employs a lens which has a front (objective) element which can be physically tilted with respect to the camera back (“film” plane.) All large and medium format cameras have this capability, with a bellows separating the lens and film back. Digital cameras, the better ones, accommodate a particular breed of lenses which allow the front element to be tilted prior to shooting, with the camera generally held steady by a beefy tripod. The tilt “lays down” the plane of sharp focus as the focus is adjusted, which would otherwise be parallel to the film plane/sensor and move in and out with focusing.

Thanks for asking – I’ve explained it in previous posts, but sometimes I forget that new readers might be tuning in. 🙂

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