You’ve heard of tree huggers, I’m a tree shooter.
I’ve become attracted to frozen, dormant trees silhouetted against vast bodies of water. The dark, skeletal trees contrast with the endless blue sea and bright sky. The scene creates a tension between apparent death and endless life.
Throw in a killer wave or heavy ice chunks and the picture fills with drama, mystery, hope and beauty.
How can this simple tree survive such an unforgiving yet glorious habitat?
I shot the above photo at the Twin Points public access between Two Harbors and Silver Bay, Minnesota. The young birch tree clings to a cliff above Lake Superior.
The waves were extremely high, the result of late winter winds from the northeast. I wish you could hear the sound as the water slammed into the rocks below – like fighter jets taking off at close range every five seconds.
Cold air stung my fingers as I released the shutter and footing was shaky after a light snowfall that night. But there are no limits in a hunt for a good tree-against-water photograph.
Of course, the most photographed tree in Minnesota is just 145 miles north of Duluth near the Canadian border.
Bird photographers hunt the snowy owl. Train enthusiasts document steam engines. Paparazzi stalk the Kardashains.
For Minnesota tree shooters like me, it’s the “Witch Tree”