The Lone Tree Stats
If you own a copy of the larue.photo 2019 Fine Art Wall Calendar, then you may recognize this image as “May”. I call it “The Lone Tree with Startrails”
The Lone Tree with Startrails is a composite of 146 images captured over 87 minutes. Between 60-90 images contained light trails from airplanes which flew through during exposure. I manually removed each of those before compositing for a less distracting final product.
Last few digits of sequential Unique IDs_YYMMDD_HHMMSS
Equals 1 hour 27 minutes 01:27:33 of shooting time
The Place Where the Lone Tree Stands
There is a lonely tree in a field near a highway that I notice every time I pass it. It stands all alone in a field off the I-17, the highway that connects Phoenix to Flagstaff. While in school in Flagstaff I would drive this route regularly, and every time I noticed one lone tree by itself in the field. I wanted to visit it. To see it up close, shake it’s branches; let it know it may be alone in this field, but not the world.
So, recently, I looked into how I could go visit it.
The simplest solution would be to park on the side of the highway and hop the barbed wire fence. I was pretty confident that would attract the authorities and earn me a citation. I found a place to park properly so I could hike.
I found a trail head fairly near the tree and parked my car. Then I hiked up a hill with my 30lbs. of camera gear and water and got to work. That hill, BTW, looked easy enough from the satellite imagery, but turned out to be nearly steep enough to warrant scrambling.
I made it to the tree 20-30 minutes before the beginning of Golden Hour and scouted the area for the most interesting vantage points.
Once the sun had set I began shooting timelapse of the tree under the stars with one camera, and a second timelapse of the passing cars on the highway with another camera.
This shot was a fun adventure for me. A moderately difficult hike, and a fun logistical challenge in post-production solving the many airplanes dilemma. I enjoying seeing the results of a startrails image, and I hear positive feedback on them.
So, what did you think? Did I explain my process clearly? Is there an easier way to do this that I can employ next time? Tell me in the comments. Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter to stay informed of my most recent updates.