Above 10,000 feet in the arid White Mountains in eastern California the ancient Bristlecone Pines thrive. In this extreme environment wood decomposes slowly, and these trees can look more dead than alive. In this state a tree can live on for centuries, the spark of life embedded within the enduring structure of wood.
Coming upon a composition of apparently dead wood formed by a living Bristlecone Pine, I could see that I wanted a black and white image that showed the spectacular patterns of wood grain—and also that the ability to make this image was beyond the tonal range of any single capture. So I resolved my dilemma by making multiple captures, and taking the image from mundane to striking in its tonal variety.
Exposure and processing data: 200mm macro lens, six exposures at shutter speeds ranging from 1/500 of a second to 7/10 of a second, each exposure at f/32 and ISO 200, tripod mounted; RAW files processed in Adobe Camera RAW and Nik HDR Efex Pro with post-production in Photoshop, monochromatic conversion using Photoshop and Nik Silver Efex Pro.