A Forest

FUJIFILM X-T1 (95mm, f/6.4, 1/180 sec, ISO200)

And what a forest that is. Sequoia NP in California. It’s our fifth time in the West of the USA but the first time we managed to visit the place.

And the reason is simple: If we start from San Francisco our route usually cross the Tioga pass in the Yosemite NP to get over the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. But not this time. This time we chose to get down on the coast and visit Sequoia before we continue to Long Pine.

FUJIFILM X-T1 (156.1mm, f/9, 1/220 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-T1 (55mm, f/6.4, 1/80 sec, ISO200)

We stayed in Visalia for two nights so that we could enter the park early plus to have a place to rest after the visit. I was not sure if it is worth to spent two days of our precious vacation but this was our fifth three week vacation in the South West so we have seen most of the attractions already. Almost all of them during our first vacation when we rushed through the country like a South Indian Curry through the body of a tourist.

Not a nice picture but you got the point. It’s also not nice to haste through this beautiful country but when you come here the first time you have no choice. Same thing with the Curry.

But from the very first picture (the one above) I knew that it was a good decision to finally visit the place. All I needed to do is to wait for an RV to enter the “gate” to give the viewer a sense of scale.

FUJIFILM X-T1 (55mm, f/4, 1/60 sec, ISO320)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (24mm, f/9, 1/105 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (13.8mm, f/9, 1/80 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (24mm, f/8, 1/60 sec, ISO640)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (16.6mm, f/8, 1/60 sec, ISO320)

Talking about sense of scale. The shot above is my favourite of the day. The bright dot next to the Sequoia tree in the back is my wife. That plus the normal trees in the background really show how big those giant trees are. They are truly immense and it’s something you should experience yourself. I strongly recommend to visit this beautiful forest.

Forget the warning signs regarding the thin air. This is an US national park. Therefore are walking paths are like highways. And you will not run through the forest anyway since you need to stop and take pictures all the time. Or at least stop and be amazed.

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (19.1mm, f/7.1, 1/60 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (10mm, f/9, 1/90 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (10mm, f/9, 1/60 sec, ISO250)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (24mm, f/8, 1/150 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (10mm, f/8, 1/60 sec, ISO320)

Regarding lenses I always prefer to keep it simple. I practically shot all images with the XF 10-24 OIS except the entry gate shot and one picture of a sign. The 10-24 is just perfect for those kind of images. It gives plenty of coverage on its wide end but also offers a very neutral view almost like a normal lens. If you check the EXIF data under the shots you will see that many have been taken with the lens set at 24mm. So it’s like a normal lens that can go super wide if needed.

But the super wide end needs to be handled with care to avoid that the image draws to much attention to the lens. Those shots always look unnatural and forced to me. It’s much better to use something in between 14mm to 24mm most of the time.

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (24mm, f/5.6, 1/60 sec, ISO250)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (24mm, f/5.6, 1/60 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (13.8mm, f/9, 1/120 sec, ISO200)

The big trunk disc reminded me about the tall old pear tree that stood close to our house and that we needed to chop down because it had become a security risk. We kept one trunk disc as a reminder to this beautiful tree. It was a little smaller though.

On the way out we saw an Amish family. I couldn’t resist I had to take two pictures and I wondered how they managed to get here.

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (24mm, f/6.4, 1/125 sec, ISO400)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (24mm, f/6.4, 1/125 sec, ISO400)