Gnarly Tree Roots

Nikon Infrared D200, Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8, 19mm, f/6.3, ISO 100, 1/20 sec

I saw the roots of this tree and really had to make a photograph. I thought that in color it would have been rather boring, so I decided to get my IR camera for this shot.  I wanted to get low enough to emphasize  the roots and the way the tree is clawing at the ground to stay in place.  I also wanted to be high enough to eliminate any distracting background and focus on the roots. I opted to eliminate most of the tree to accomplish that.

This tree is leaning at a very heavy angle off a bank and really is ‘hanging on’, clawing at the ground to stay in place.  I had to scramble down the bank and then stand on a tree stump to get some height back so I wasn’t shooting into the sky.  You can get an idea of how steep it is on the lower left.  I expect that within a few short years this tree will have lost its grip on the earth and will be gone.

Processes with Adobe Lightroom, Nik SilverFX Pro, and OnOne Phototools.


  1. Geekgirl

    It would be interesting to see more of the tree to get some perspective on how much it’s hanging off the bank. Where was this photo taken?

  2. John

    @Geekgirl: Sorry, I don’t have another photo of this tree with any perspective on how much it’s leaning over the bank. This is along highway 62 in Oregon, between Crater Lake and Fort Kalamath.

  3. Kristi Hines
    Kristi Hines05-03-2011

    I love infrared effects! Great capture! Looks like a monster about to crawl up from the ground!

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