“King of the Forest”
“At the centre of the pine grove it stood, massive, ancient, and humbling. A massive maple, the likes I have not seen; the King of the Forest had my undivided attention” – Ed Lehming
I have seen this tree from a distance for year, set deep in a recess of plantation pine. I could see hints of it through the tall trunks but had no idea of its sheer size and majesty; until today, when I stepped of the trail and ventured into this sacred glade to bear witness to something majestic.
The massive maple is actually made up of three separate and individually massive trees, their trunks nearly touching, giving the illusion of a single tree above ground. Below ground, for all I know, the roots may well be fused into a single entity. This cluster completely fills a large glade, making room for no others. In the summer, the tree’s canopy creates a dark and brooding cover that obscures most of the light, the sunlight feeding this tree only. The darkness is one of the reasons that I have not taken a closer look in the past, it’s simply too dark for a good photo, without the use of extra equipment, and I have not had a lense wide enough to encompass the entire scene. That changed today, equipped with both my iPhone 12 Pro and my Nikon D800 with a 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens. Both cameras did an admirable job but the iPhone image was easier to convert to this style.
The light today was also not ideal, but I settled on this shot, as I found the glare did not distract too much from the tree itself, in fact, it makes the image a bit brighter and a bit mysterious, in my opinion, giving it all a bit of a watercolour look.
iPhone 12 Pro @ 4.2 mm
1/1795 sec, f/1.6, ISO 32