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Why this was chosen as Photograph of the Week

If nothing else, this photograph requires technical skills, envisioning power (many would probably not think of this magnificent foreground) and a lot of patience. (Read Discussion)


Paul Ferraris , January 18, 2003; 01:22 A.M.


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Shawn Kilmer , January 19, 2003; 04:50 P.M.

f-in fantastic. exposure time??

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Lost Coyote , January 19, 2003; 06:18 P.M.

exposute time

~ 8 hours

remember that a full circle is 24 hours. so take any star in time lapse picture and figure out the arc. in this case, it's around 110-120 degrees (let's use 120 deg) so:

(120 deg) / (360 deg/circle) * (24 hr/circle) = 8 hours

John McLaine , January 20, 2003; 12:09 A.M.

Fabulous job!

Often in star trail photographs, the photographer forgets or neglects to include a worthwhile foreground, something on earth to anchor the image. Not so in this case. Must be beautiful in a large print.

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Fred Kamphues , January 20, 2003; 02:11 P.M.

Brilliant photo, but can you tell me why the star trails are oval and not round?

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Lost Coyote , January 20, 2003; 02:47 P.M.

ovals & circles

the star tracks look oval in shape because i used a wide angle 90mm lens (4x5 format). that doesn't bother me because for this particular image, i am more interested in what it says from a spiritual, emotional, or symbolic perspective. here we have the stars overhead that are going to be here for a very long time, the bristlecone pines have been there for 3000-4000 years, and then i walked right through the picture twice (once to go back to my truck & sleep and again to trip the shutter off) and don't even show up. that sort of symbolizes the element of time for me, personally, in a certain fashion. we (humans) are here for a very short stay and yet, collectively speaking, we seem to think we are somehow superior in the way we claim dominion over the world in which we depend upon for life itself. it's a powerful photograph when thought of in this fashion:

we are nothing

we are everything...

everything in the sense that we're made from the same stardust that the trees are made from; nothing in the sense that within the timeframe and scale of what seems to be eternity, we're truly insignificant... but as individuals, we're everything of significance because we do relate to our environment and have made a huge impact. everything is interrelated... from us to the trees to the stars.

okay, okay... just my opinion here & i'll step off my pedestal now.


Simon Lonsdale , January 22, 2003; 03:59 P.M.

Re: Ovals & Circles

I see you've put a lot of thought into this. And I must say I agree with your sentiments. You've got a wonderful image here, and a wonderful sense of self expression.

Thanks for sharing your insights with us

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Terry McCully , February 05, 2003; 06:17 P.M.


7\7 for this great shot!!!

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Bert Armijo , February 10, 2003; 12:56 A.M.

This is a good example of this style of photo. I agree with the other comment about your selection of a nice foreground to anchor the shot. The only nit I see is the largest trees seem to be leaning into the spiral, but I don't think it detract from the image much. Very well done.

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Jason Eadie , April 28, 2003; 02:42 A.M.

A great star trail example. J.

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Jason Stephenson , April 28, 2003; 08:40 A.M.


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Thomas Stepat , April 28, 2003; 10:58 A.M.


I feel that your composition is absolutely beautiful!!! I immediatley identified with the spiritual feel of the scene. I think its wonderful that your subjects are the timeless stars in combination with the bristlecone pines which are the oldest living creature on Earth. Ever since I watched a documentry on the "Meathusa Tree", photographing the bristlecone pines have been a dream of mine. You have done an absolute wonderful job here!!! Thanks for sharing.

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Geoff Ault , April 28, 2003; 01:45 P.M.

Star Trails

I like the fact that the tree leans toward the star circles, it adds to the spirituality of the scene. Beautiful photo.

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James . , April 28, 2003; 07:32 P.M.

Yes indeed, 5000 year old trees merit some serious photography. I saw the program on PBS about these:


I too would like to get some photos of them, perhaps this summer. Thanks for sharing.

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Ben Manlove , April 28, 2003; 09:08 P.M.

This is great. I'm sure the small online scan doesn't look as good as a print. All of your black and white work is excellent, but I think this captures my attention the most. Amazing.

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Adam Dover , April 29, 2003; 04:47 A.M.


I love your photograph. You have inspired me. I have a question though. Why did you shoot it on 400? Ok, one more question. To create this star trail effect, you point the camera in the direction or the star Polaris? If not, please fill me in. Nice work.

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Michael shelby johnsoN , April 29, 2003; 12:05 P.M.

Thank you for sharing your art.

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Louis Tsai , April 30, 2003; 04:40 A.M.

Excellent photo! I especially like the way the tree in the foreground points towards the concentric circles. It gives the photo a more "grand" and profound feel.

By the way, your presentation is excellent too, thanks for sharing with us.

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Luca Baldassarre , April 30, 2003; 08:23 A.M.

This is absolutely outstanding and I fully agree with your philosophy. Only that I cannot yet put it into a photo...

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Otis Otol , April 30, 2003; 11:25 P.M.


I Love this Shot!

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Antonio Quinones , March 26, 2004; 04:09 P.M.

Excellent. Do you sell prints of this picture? Please reply by e-mail.


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Lost Coyote , March 29, 2004; 10:50 A.M.

sorry, i don't sell my work anymore. i got tired of doing that.

Enrique Rodriguez , April 02, 2004; 03:25 P.M.


Great Shot!!

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Jamie Bodie , May 12, 2004; 04:36 P.M.


This photo stands alone without explanation but reading your ideas about it gives me and even greater appreciation of the symbolism. All of your photos have a great fluidity to them.. very impressive!

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Alex Webster , May 16, 2004; 02:25 P.M.


This is an amazing shot, regardless of the medium. To see that you shot it 4X5 is out of this world. I'd love to see this printed at 5'X 7'or so. Definitely an image that would benefit from large scale printing.

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Mark McLaughlin , May 16, 2004; 10:57 P.M.

Great shot, the trees make it work.

When first I saw this image, I saw the star trails as Eternity's phonographic record with the tree leaning in as the arm bringing the needle to play the music of the spheres.

Your text comments nicely underline the theme.

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todd schoenbaum , July 01, 2004; 09:43 P.M.

Really nice! I recently tried this myself at nearby Death Valley, to no avail, selenium toned the neg, again... to no avail. Nice work again!

Todd Schoenbaum
Celluloid and Silver

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Ann Dream , December 29, 2009; 01:31 P.M.


Great light and shadow!

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