In my amateur photography efforts, I have noticed over the years that trying to capture the grandeur of a beautiful tree can be a frustrating endeavor. I seem to end up with a boring little picture of the whole tree from a distance, or give in to just capturing a piece of it in a closeup. More often than not my new strategy is to stop and just appreciate the beauty of the moment with my eyes, then move on to another subject to photograph. And I am usually dealing with normal run-of-the-mill size trees, not giant redwoods. When wildlife photographer Michael Nichols wanted to create a truly stunning image of a 300 foot redwood tree that would in some way capture is true size, he created a custom camera rig with a gyroscope and three camera aimed at different angles that was lowered from another tree capturing 84 individual images that were then stitched together into a giant vertical panorama.
The result is incredible. Look for a huge foldout of the image in the October issue of National Geographic, and here’s a video of Nichols talking about the process of capturing the image. Click on “More” to see a version of the final image.