Photo of the Day Contest
The Time Traveler by Stephen Oachs
Thursday, 12th January 2012

The Time Traveler

by Stephen Oachs

In the high, remote elevations of California's Eastern Sierra mountain range, you will find a small group of ancient pine trees, known as Bristlecone Pines. The Bristlecone are thought to reach ages far greater than that of any other known single living organism — up to nearly 5,000 years. Bristlecone pines grow in isolated groves at and just below the tree line. Because of the unique combination of elements – cold temperatures, dry soils, high winds and short growing seasons – they grow very slowly. Their wood is quite dense and resinous, thus resistant to invasion by insects, fungi and other potential pests, contributing to their remarkable longevity. This photo captures one of the larger twisted trees at the 10,400 ft. elevation, which was illuminated by the moon's casting a soft nighttime glow across the landscape. The enchanted night effect of the star trails were shot using a 1-hour long exposure pointed directly at the North Star (Polaris).
Equipment: Canon 1Ds Mark III
Stephen Oachs
Stephen W. Oachs is an award-winning photographer, successful entrepreneur and technology veteran who began his journey in photography the moment he picked up his first camera. Completely self-taught, Stephen's unique and distinctive style has earned him recognition as one of today's finest nature photographers. He was recognized in 2007 as wildlife photographer of the year by the National Wildlife Federation and was awarded best nature photographer in 2008 by National Geographic. Stephen has received many other awards and achievements. His work has graced the pages of such notable publications such as National Geographic, Popular Photography, Outdoor Photographer, National Wildlife Magazine and many others. In 2009 Stephen founded The Aperture Academy, a unique combination of fine art photography gallery in conjunction with classroom and workshop instruction. Students of the Aperture Academy recieve hands on instruction designed for their individual skill level which includes everything from learning to shoot in the field to digital post processing techniques. Whether trekking through the wilds of Alaska, enduring the raw challenges of nature or experiencing the thrill of life on the edge, Stephen captures rare and breathtaking moments of light and time. His exceptional eye is filtered only by his passion for life, deep affinity with nature and love of adventure.

The Time Traveler by Stephen Oachs was photo of the day on Thursday, 12th January 2012. It is tagged , , . You can leave a comment below.


12th January 2012 at 2:20 am

Wonderful capture Stephen and a perfect bristlecone against the star trails.

Dave Yuhas

12th January 2012 at 4:34 am

That is an incredible image.

Ahmed Saeed

12th January 2012 at 7:50 am

beautiful picture i like it


12th January 2012 at 9:16 am

Bristlecone pines are found in the White Mountains not the Sierra

12th January 2012 at 9:54 am

Beautiful; I love it!

12th January 2012 at 10:39 am


12th January 2012 at 10:42 am

goodness gracious!!
one heck of an image!!…. loved the concept and also, thanks for the great info!!

12th January 2012 at 10:59 am

wow this is an amazing shot, love the detail you have in the tree against the moving starry sky, brilliant, congratulations


12th January 2012 at 11:20 am

breathtaking, thanks for sharing the pic & the info, it’s great to know the story behind such a remarkable image


12th January 2012 at 12:34 pm

what a beautiful and peaceful shot!

12th January 2012 at 1:05 pm

mind blowing!

Tammy Mayer

12th January 2012 at 1:35 pm

One of my favorites Stephen!

12th January 2012 at 4:08 pm

Beautiful composition. Congrats!

12th January 2012 at 5:02 pm


12th January 2012 at 5:53 pm



12th January 2012 at 6:06 pm

Very nice, love them. Heading there for the first time in a few days. But they are on the western slope of the White Mountains, not the Eastern Sierra.

12th January 2012 at 6:18 pm

One of the best of the best!

12th January 2012 at 8:06 pm

Really stunning!

12th January 2012 at 9:12 pm

totally cool !!!

12th January 2012 at 11:18 pm

That is just brilliant, the definition in those tree limbs and of course the starts – such stark contrast but so so beautiful

14th April 2012 at 4:00 am

stunning capture!

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