Iridescent Charred Tree

Iridescent Charred Tree

20×20 prints are $2,000
30×30 prints are $4,000

In the spring of 1996 I made a week long photo trip from Oregon to northern California. I spent some time in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, where I found this redwood tree with a large charred area from a fire that had occurred sometime in the past.

The tree was large, about six feet in diameter and the charred area was weathered and smooth. I could see that the shiny burned area was subtlety reflecting the colors of the sky, the trees and the sunlit foliage of the forest and it seemed possible that a worthwhile image could be found there.

I used a Zeiss Superachromat lens on my Hasselblad to take the photo. The lens has incredible sharpness and absolutely perfect color correction and it was able to resolve an amazing amount of subtle color differentiation and fine texture in the weathered, charred wood.

Printing the image properly requires a lot of finesse, since the overall color balance has to be absolutely perfect for all of the opposite colors in the image to come to life. And the tonal densities have to be carefully evened out with dodging and burning to bring a cohesive look to the image.

When the print is lit properly, there is an almost startling iridescent and three dimensional feel to the print which effectively reproduces the subtle colors that I saw and felt in that charred trunk in the midst of that deep coastal forest on a warm spring day many years ago.

Format: Medium (square)
Location: California
Reference key: ict