Del Norte Coast Redwoods
Why a Wonder: Redwood trees are the tallest trees on the planet. The redwoods of the northern California coast make majestic photo subjects.
Where: Damnation Creek Trailhead in Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, which is part of Redwood National and State Parks, is one of the best places to photograph redwood trees. The trailhead is located off of Highway 101 in northern California, just south of the border with Oregon. The best photography is found in the first half-mile of the trail (if you keep going, the trail descends steeply and the photography gets less good). There are plenty of other options for redwood photography in the area.
When: You can visit anytime of year, but late May is when the rhododendron bushes bloom. The forest is also very green this time of year, and there's a really good chance of getting fog in the trees. Mornings are usually best for photography.
Photography: You'll be able to use many different focal lengths. Wide-angle lenses are useful for capturing the grand sweep of the forest, but be aware that perspective distortion will become very apparent when pointing a wide-angle lens up toward the forest canopy (the trees will appear to "lean in"). Longer lenses can be used to pluck out a discrete portion of the overall scene, such as some colorful rhododendron blossoms. The best conditions for photography in the redwoods are when there is a thin layer of fog in the forest on a sunny day, as the sun shining through the fog can create dramatic sunbeams.
Learn more: Visit the official site for Redwood National and State Parks: https://www.nps.gov/redw/index.htm
© Ian Plant
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