Redwoods - Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park, California

The Redwoods. The tallest trees on Earth (some over 360 feet). One of the oldest trees on Earth (some older than 2,000 years). Who wouldn't want to walk among them and take in their beauty? Who wouldn't want to experience the serenity, silence and peacefulness while with them in their groves? These were questions I pondered earlier this year when I knew that I was going to California on vacation with my wife and great friends this past September. All I had to do was plan out an itinerary and off we would go. Well, I found out that planning an itinerary there was not a simple thing. The main challenge is how large of an area the redwoods cover - almost 500 miles north and south from southern Oregon to central California. Trying to cover that area in a couple of days is near impossible. I decided to concentrate the itinerary on Redwoods National Park. As I researched, I became confused--lots of mentions of California State Parks and I couldn't put my finger on it. Finally, the light bulb clicked on. The National Park is a combination of the four state parks that are jointly run by the Federal and State governments. With that understood, I began to search on the more popular groves and was able to create a reasonable itinerary. Whew.

This photo was taken in Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park near Crescent City. I found it hard to capture the pure beauty of the Redwoods as they are so tall (a wide angle lens is a necessity). Their are also dynamic range challenges, as the groves are dark and the sky is usually quite bright,  making an exposure complicated. I found during my shooting there is to hope for the sun to shine through the trees, as they tend to accentuate the trees and provide some relief to the difficult dynamic range.