Lone Oak Tree – Portrait of California Chaparral
A single oak tree stands alone at sunset on the chaparral hillsides of Monte Bello Open Space, California.
I wish I had spent more time composing photographs of this tree. It’s located on an empty hillside in Monte Bello Open Space, in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. When I walked past the tree, for some reason I didn’t really think much of it. I snapped just a few photos, with the simplest composition imaginable, and moved on. But when I edited the photo later, its beauty really struck me. Part of this has to do with the perfect light, and the way it transitions up the hill. I love how at the bottom, the sunlight only kisses the tallest of grasses. Another thing I love is the stark contrast between the hill and the sky. They are both so monotone, so fully committed to their one single color. In fact, I think this monotonousness is probably what bored me about the image in that initial moment. But the simplicity of it, and the way the one lone tree acts as a rogue to break up the monotony, how grown on me since.
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