Redwoods in Stout Grove

A few tips for Coast Redwood photos

Continued from: Coast Redwood Information


2010 - 2015 by M. D. Vaden


Lens selection

Redwood Photography by Mario Vaden displayed framed

Before traveling, find a wall, high-rise, or something, 20 ft. wide and then 30 - 200 ft. tall. Pretend its a trunk or a wide gap along a trail.

Try and capture that entire size, standing just 10 ft. away, 20 ft. away, 60 ft. away, or even 200 ft. away. That will show if your lens collection is adequate or not.

For examples, go back to my main redwood page and look for two photos. One has a women in shorts leaning on a redwood. That grove was open compared to many. Taken full frame, 50mm, from about 50 ft. away. The other is a woman in a red dress by a huge redwood. Space very tight. The trunk was only 20 ft. away. Used 16-28mm 2.8 ... hand-held .. standing on a log. 24mm would not have worked. Those are the closeup examples.

If I could only bring one lens, it would be the 24-70mm. If two lenses, then add-on an 11-16mm or 16-35mm.

Here are a few suggestions for in the coast redwoods. Some are general purpose but worth emphasizing.


Here are a few suggestions for photos in the Coast Redwoods.

  • Carry extra batteries
  • For every horizontal redwood photo, take another vertical
  • The wet season ... IMO ... October - June, is the best
  • For size comparison, place the subject to the side if there is room to stand.
  • Do not trample vegetation
  • Social trails exist ... don't start a new one if you can find one
  • Many best redwood photos are due to right place & right time
  • Some folks like circular polarizers to lessen white gleam on wet leaves
  • If light looks great ... don't chat about it ... take the shot now
  • For portraits, bridges at Prairie Creek trail and James Irvine trail are photogenic.
  • . If there is mist, clean the lens between photos
  • If you put your lens cap in a pocket, face the lens side away from your body sweat
  • A tiny compact umbrella may be your ticket to nice photos on rainy days
  • Get up a daybreak.
  • Prairie Creek Redwoods Drury Parkway offers an "Avenue of the Giants" look if you don't get to Humboldt


HDR / High Dynamic Range Imaging in the Redwoods ?

Give it a try.

Some views it seems worse. For other photos it seems better.

Personally, my thought is when light seems perfect everywhere in an image it may seem artificial.


Fisheye Lens

If you have one, or have the knack, go for it. Otherwise, there are very few fisheye coast redwood forest images that look good.