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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Gallery Fifty Eight: Man and nature -- expressing our relationship with the environment > A child’s touch, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California, 2009
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A child’s touch, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California, 2009
18-JUN-2009

A child’s touch, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California, 2009

Some of the most impressive trees in the world stand in this park. Yet we see only their trunks – their soaring branches merge into a canopy overhead that is virtually impossible to photograph expressively. I was left to concentrate on that part of a redwood tree that best tells its story – the lines and textures of its ancient trunk. I was photographing such a trunk when a hand suddenly appeared from the other side. It was the hand of a young child, climbing into the crook of the tree so that her father could take her picture there. I made this shot of us her hand as it entered the crook and grasped the tree. This image incongruously matches the touch of a child’s hand to wood that was growing almost a thousand years ago. Her youth is forever linked to its age, and through it to the story of nature itself.

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1/50s f/5.2 at 147.0mm iso400 full exif

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Phil Douglis05-Jul-2009 21:11
You see the hand as caring, loving, and respectful. I saw it as a symbol of youth, contrasting to the immense age of the tree. The hand seems to be feeling its way, exploring the natural world, in very child like way. I think it is wonderful that you bring these other emotions into play here, Carol.
Carol E Sandgren05-Jul-2009 20:42
And this image gives me a much more hopeful feeling that some people at least care about our environment. The caring hand is probably one of the most expressive gestures of love and respect, and hope. Nicely seen!
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