On The Subject Of Scale

Since Susan and I returned (and actually while we were there) I’ve been grousing about how any photos taken of the giant sequoias in Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks are preordained to fail. It’s pretty much a fact that taking a picture of an almost unfathomably gigantic tree amidst other almost unfathomably gigantic trees is the equivalent of going to a field and taking an ant’s eye-view photo of the largest blade of grass standing amidst all the other blades.

Bottom line: it’s just not going to communicate the mindblowing grandeur — especially to anyone who hasn’t been there and stood before these unfathomably gigantic living things — which was me up until this trip.

Case in point, here’s a two-shot composite (basically a verticle panorama) I made when Susan and I arrived awestruck at the General Sherman Tree:

Sure, you can tell it’s ginormous. But even if you’ve seen far better photos than mine that better demonstrate its massiveness, unless you’ve physically stood beneath it there’s just no way this photo can properly let you recognize the near-unfathomable size.

And that was the trouble with the shots I took of the trees — and the source of my grousing, as well as the reason I wasn’t in that big a hurry to throw them up into a set on Flickr. But I finally did so yesterday, and also goofed with stitching that above pano together. And it’s when I blew it up to it’s full 72″ vertical size on my computer’s screen and scrolled from the top down, I got to the trunk and found the simple obvious comparative that could somewhat convey its almost unfathomable massive livingness. Duh: it’s people. In this case an average-sized woman and two average-sized kids next to One Of The Largest Ever Living Things Ever In Existence Ever On This Planet Ever. Ever:

click to get the bigger picture

My Flickr set is here.

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with laonstage.com, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."