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Silhouetted Bonsai Pine - Zion

Posted by
Barbara Lee (Oakland, United States) on 1 December 2010 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

After I made this image, I went online and discovered that this little pine tree is one of the most photographed trees in all of Zion. I had been feeling pretty smug about finding it up in the high country, climbing up on a big rock, and getting this silhouette. Little did I know that hundreds (thousands?) have gone before me. One sweet thing that happened when I climbed up on this big rock - I ran into Elizabeth Carmel, a photographer out of Truckee whose work I really admire. It was a great week for photography in Zion - the place was crawling with the greats!

NIKON D90 1/125 second F/14.0 ISO 400 225 mm (35mm equiv.)

To view more of my images, visit my portfolio at Barbara Lee Photography. Also, visit my Facebook fan page at!/pages/Barbara-Lee-Photography/244133283497[/url

Spotlight photo at

sunstone_maria from California, United States

beautiful colors, great framing! looks to me almost as a shadow of the tree. fantastic!

1 Dec 2010 5:51am

Didier DE ZAN from somewhere, France

Nice shot

1 Dec 2010 6:27am

marci from somewhere in..., Morocco

beautiful silhouette!

1 Dec 2010 7:32am

Tede from Aubenas 07, France

A real calligraphy, superb light. Good day.

1 Dec 2010 8:17am

Stefan from Thiersee, Austria

Beautiful photo!

1 Dec 2010 9:08am

Julie Brown from Indianapolis, United States

The light was gorgeous. Even if it is an icon, it is a very nice addition to your portfolio. I have seen Elizabeth Carmel's work. I think she was profiled in Outdoor Photographer. Barbara, I might be able to get to Zion in the fall sometime soon. They changed the school calendar and now there will be a two week fall break around the 3rd week in October.

1 Dec 2010 10:59am

@Julie Brown: That would be perfect timing for you! The first week of November is supposed to always be the best (it certainly worked out for me!) and the Majestic View Lodge, where I stayed, drops their rates in half on Nov 1 - they stay at that price point till the end of March. I have a hunch that all of Springdale does this, too!

Florence from Paris, France

Such a beautiful and inspired photograph. A real beauty. 5 stars !

1 Dec 2010 11:00am

CLODO from PESSAC, France

So Barbara, congratulations to find it without looking for it, and to present it to us. Absolutely crazy curves and amazing background.

1 Dec 2010 12:15pm

@CLODO: Why, thank you! Yes, I was pretty happy that I just ran across it! Who knew?

Michelle from Elverson, United States


1 Dec 2010 1:03pm

Tracy from La Selva Beach, United States

I don't care how many others have photographed this little tree, you did a beautiful job, and it's all yours! :)
You were in great company there, Barbara and you certainly can hold your own photographically any day!

1 Dec 2010 3:03pm

@Tracy: Hi Tracy - Elizabeth Carmel was my first digital photography inspiration. I bought her Brilliant Waters book 3 years ago and loved the way that in the afterward she gave away some of her "secrets" to making good digital images. I then visited her a couple of times in her Truckee gallery (you must go sometime!) and then dropped $1K on a framed photo of Yosemite. My sweetie had a a bit of something to say about that - but - I hung it over my bed where it still is. She became a sort of role model for me. This week, I am going to remove her photo from the frame and replace it with one of my Zion Narrows images - a friend has encouraged me to do this, and I finally gave in. Her wonderful photo will go in my flat file (for now), but Sharon has persuaded me that I have finally learned how to make equally (well, nearly equally) good images. Becoming an artist has, for me, been a beautiful journey of ups and downs, three steps forward, two steps back, but ever onward. I am so grateful for all who have, and are continuing to, teach me along the way.

Thea from Leeuwarden, Netherlands

A great shot Barbara!..wonderful colors and composition!
Cant help seeing the tree like a stone throwing creature! :))

1 Dec 2010 3:09pm

Andrea from Regina, Canada

Well, I hope the tree doesn't get too cocky about its fame! Wonderful shot. At least you were personally inspired to take it, and not copying someone else. I know how you feel though; I have a picture of a bridge in Florence that I just loved...until I saw the exact same scene reproduced by much better photographers!

1 Dec 2010 3:16pm

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Total Zen!

1 Dec 2010 4:58pm

Shahryar from Isfahan, Iran

very nice capture :)

1 Dec 2010 6:51pm

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

It took me long enough to get to you with all the AM3 slowness (for ,some reason the site is very pokey for me today) but the wait was well worth it...this is beautiful Barbara...I am so proud to know you and I remain a true and loyal fan. I will shout from the rooftops that your North Carolina and Zion images (and others too) are just as good as, and/or better than most that I have seen. I also love Elizabeth's work, but just as you regard her as a mentor, I also regard you as an inspiration to me and my efforts. I have no illusions about becoming a master or a pro - nowhere near. But at least I know a few masters and you are on that very short list. Your work is magnificent and you put your heart and soul into all of it...and to me, that is the true definition of a master pro: one who has beautiful Heart and Soul! Well done my friend!!

1 Dec 2010 6:59pm

DULCIE from Danville, CA, United States

"Crawling with the greats" and you among them !! :-)
This is your OWN exquisite image. Very zen-like in your handling.
I love seeing this spare beauty through your eyes.

1 Dec 2010 8:09pm

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

Wow, beautiful shot. There are some landmarks that are so overdone that it's hard to get our own unique shot, but still, it is your own view that matters.

2 Dec 2010 12:05am

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

i love the strong silhouette here, especially against some wonderful golden colour tones in the background! well spotted and well taken!

2 Dec 2010 2:06am

joemulligan from United States

no one has done it better. this is heartbreakingly beautiful.

2 Dec 2010 3:55am

@joemulligan: Wow, Joe. Thanks so much! Believe it or not, this photo almost did not make it out of my computer. I had forgotten it was there.

Barbara Kile from Ft. Worth, United States

Love the comp here!

3 Dec 2010 2:15am

Marie from FRESNES, France

c'est simple et très beau.

5 Dec 2010 9:54pm

Céline from New York City, United States

Congratulations ! A well-deserved color-spotlight !

10 Dec 2010 7:31pm

marci from Morocco

congrats on the color spotlight! - fabulous!

12 Dec 2010 8:20am

Francesc B. from région parisienne, France

A magnificent natural bonsaï made by Mother Nature... a lovely silhouette and warm colors...
I began to make bonsaïs more than 30 years ago... two pics HERE

5 Mar 2011 9:17am

1/125 second
ISO 400
225 mm (35mm equiv.)