The concept: My vision for this scene was to create an image that replicated the visual and emotional experience of traveling through the “Tunnel” of Trees on M-119. I realized I needed to use the motion of my car to create the illusion of movement rather than a static image. So I held my camera out and on top of the moon roof on my car as I drove. I experimented with exposures of 1 to 3 seconds. Since I was traveling the same speed as the car in front of me, that car remained in focus, but all the surrounding trees blurred into a green vortex of color, pattern and shape.
About the M-119 “Tunnel of Trees” The “Tunnel of Trees” is part of Michigan highway M-119, and is a 20 mile stretch between Harbor Springs and Cross Village in the northwest part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The route follows the shore of Lake Michigan and the Little Traverse Bay with many scenic views of the water. Much of the highway lacks a center line when the road isn’t a full two lanes wide. Trees butt right up to the edge of the road, and many branches meet in the middle above the road, forming a “tunnel of trees.”
Technical details: This particular image was at shot at 2.5 seconds at f/22 and 100 ISO. My camera is a Olympus E30 Digital SLR, with a 20mm-60mm (40mm-120mm equivalent) lens set at 40mm. I used a polarizing filter to maximize color, reduce reflections, and enable me to shoot at a lower shutter speed. The file was RAW, and processed in Camera Raw & Photoshop Elements.