Lone Bristlecone in color

Uploaded 29 Jun 2008 — 87 favorites
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© Chris Whitney
Views 1045
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Favorites 87
Comments 45
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

It seems easier to find success where others have found success, but following a personal path may lead to a rewarding journey. Such was the case in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest of California’s White Mountains. The Patriarch Grove is home to dramatic bristlecone trees, the oldest living things on Earth. My goal was to photograph the trees of this grove, where many other photographers had already captured wonderful images. My wife, Linda, suggested an alternative hike along a steep ridge to an unknown destination. I followed her intuition, and together we discovered a lone bristlecone tree, high atop the ridge, catching the last warm rays of the sun as it set behind the Eastern Sierra Mountains. Our path was in the opposite direction of the famous grove, but it led to a single tree that symbolized the enduring strength and beauty of the bristlecone forest.

In the story Photographic Luck.

45 responses

  • Yasmina Baggili

    Yasmina Baggili (Deleted) gave props (29 Jun 2008):

    Totally amazing shot! Unique!!!!

  • Mojca Savicki

    Mojca Savicki gave props (29 Jun 2008):

    I LOVE shots like this one! Wonderful!

  • Minno Ramírez Terrón

    Minno Ramírez Terrón gave props (29 Jun 2008):

    wow a magical shot!

  • Andrew Lorimer

    Andrew Lorimer (Deleted) gave props (29 Jun 2008):

    Magically Beautiful !!!

  • Patrick Baudelaire

    Patrick Baudelaire gave props (29 Jun 2008):

    Really beautiful!

  • adniloj

    adniloj gave props (29 Jun 2008):

    Been playing with an air-brush? This wash of color is great Chris!

  • Jay Stockhaus

    Jay Stockhaus (Deleted) gave props (29 Jun 2008):

    Fantastic shot.

  • peggy gardner

    peggy gardner gave props (29 Jun 2008):

    gorgeous !

  • Gail Anderson

    Gail Anderson said (29 Jun 2008):

    Way up in the mountains on a high timberline,
    there's a twisted old tree called the Bristlecone Pine.
    The wind there is bitter; it cuts like a knife.
    And it keeps that tree holding on for dear life.
    But hold on it does, standing its ground.
    Standing as empires rise and fall down.
    When Jesus was gathering lambs to his fold,
    the tree was already a thousand years old.
    Now the way I have lived there ain't no way to tell,
    when I die if I'm going to heaven or hell.
    So when I'm laid to rest it would suit me just fine
    to sleep at the feet of the Bristlecone Pine.
    And as I would slowly return to this earth
    what little this body of mine might be worth
    would soon start to nourish the roots of that tree.
    And it would partake of the essence of me.
    And who knows what's found as the centuries turn.
    A small spark of me might continue to burn.
    As long as the sun does continue to shine
    down on the limbs of the Bristlecone Pine.
    Music and Lyrics by
    Hugh Prestwood

  • Laurie Search

    Laurie Search gave props (29 Jun 2008):

    So pretty!!!

  • Rand Blimes

    Rand Blimes said (29 Jun 2008):

    When you find a place like this, where you can be alone in a crowded, often-photographed place, I think the memory of the moment is every bit as rewarding as the photograph. Great find, and great image.

  • J. Harris Blacklist

    J. Harris Blacklist gave props (29 Jun 2008):

    I have seen this on your site, an inspiration...an amazing shot and glad you posted it here, you and your words are powerful and meaningful to me.

  • Norman Caldwell

    Norman Caldwell (Deleted) gave props (30 Jun 2008):

    Amazing colors! Incredible shot.

  • Frederic Frognier

    Frederic Frognier (Deleted) gave props (30 Jun 2008):

    Simply beautiful

  • chp

    chp gave props (30 Jun 2008):

    Wow. This is amazing.

  • Mandi Nikole

    Mandi Nikole gave props (1 Jul 2008):

    beautiful colors. love the tree

  • Guillaume Bouvet

    Guillaume Bouvet (Deleted) gave props (1 Jul 2008):

    Unique, amazing, perfect, fantastic !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Leanna Lomanski

    Leanna Lomanski gave props (3 Jul 2008):

    You've outdone even you on this one, Chris -- this is unbelievably, emotionally evocatively beautiful (and see - women really do have intuitition!)

  • Lisa Slifko

    Lisa Slifko gave props (3 Jul 2008):

    Teriffic image Chris. Love the colours and composition.

  • Natalie S

    Natalie S gave props (4 Jul 2008):

    Wonderful color tones

  • Merlin Peck

    Merlin Peck (Deleted) gave props (7 Jul 2008):

    Wonderful image. The main subect is so beautifully rendered. I love the soft colors of the tree along with the razor sharp edges, all against a wash of that beautiful sky.

  • Nicholas Breslow

    Nicholas Breslow gave props (8 Jul 2008):

    Sweet work - love the colors & light.

  • Warren ~Mangione~

    Warren ~Mangione~ gave props (8 Jul 2008):

    Amazing photo! I love it! Don't these trees live about 5,000 years? Just imagine that. I would have had to hug that tree. LOL For real.

  • David Fullman

    David Fullman gave props (10 Jul 2008):

    Beautiful shot

  • Portia Söderberg

    Portia Söderberg (Deleted) gave props (11 Jul 2008):

    WOW Chris! this is so dramatically beautiful and PERFECT. Kudos to you for the shot and to your wife for her intuition.

  • Nelson Campbell

    Nelson Campbell (Deleted) gave props (15 Jul 2008):

    Classically beautiful.

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (15 Jul 2008):

    Wonderful light.

  • Keith Skinner

    Keith Skinner gave props (19 Jul 2008):

    Stunning Image Chris!!! Technically dead on and the color is to die for!

  • Howard Simpson

    Howard Simpson gave props (23 Jul 2008):

    Nice Work.

  • Sherry Davis Johnson

    Sherry Davis Johnson gave props (23 Jul 2008):

    Wow! I concur with everyone.

  • Kelly Wren

    Kelly Wren said (29 Jul 2008):

    My favorite. :) And I love the story behind it.

  • Ikhlef A.

    Ikhlef A. said (18 Aug 2008):

    This beauty was worth the trip. Nice shot.

  • Mykola Swarnyk

    Mykola Swarnyk gave props (19 Sep 2008):

    And nice story too...

  • Tj Watt

    Tj Watt said (25 Sep 2008):

    wow wow wow wow....
    This is a place I must visit before I die. Or possibly after...

  • Janice Mezzacappa

    Janice Mezzacappa (Deleted) gave props (30 Sep 2008):

    Serene and dramatic, love it!

  • judy fouse

    judy fouse gave props (22 Oct 2008):

    I hope to return to that area some day and definitely want to visit this forest, A very inspiring photo

  • Ted Opderbeck

    Ted Opderbeck gave props (24 Oct 2008):

    Your work is incredible - this is the best!

  • Mal Stewart

    Mal Stewart gave props (5 Nov 2008):

    This is an unbelieably stunning image. Great work again Chris.

  • Martie Last

    Martie Last gave props (20 Nov 2008):

    This photo captures the majesty of nature. Just beautiful!

  • Joyce D.Z.

    Joyce D.Z. gave props (24 Nov 2008):

    I have read Galen Rowell's writeup about bristecones a couple of years ago. Your image and the writeup reminded me of that. Your take is way better than his. :)

  • Christine Holtz

    Christine Holtz (Deleted) gave props (3 Dec 2008):

    Beutiful shot, great light

  • Bentzion Elisha

    Bentzion Elisha gave props (19 Dec 2008):


  • Manon Boily

    Manon Boily (Deleted) gave props (15 Feb 2009):

    simply beautiful!

  • jan-louise haller

    jan-louise haller gave props (18 Mar 2010):

    Your work is exquisite !!! This is awe inspiring Chris !

  • Lynn Pepper

    Lynn Pepper gave props (3 Oct 2011):

    Absolutely Beautiful!

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