I don’t know how old this Banyan tree is. Probably hundreds of years. And in all those years, this tree has stood, grown and thrived. Standing tall on the outskirts of a rainforest in East Maui.
Personally, I’ve seen this tree dozens of times, photographed it many times and sat under its shade on many occasions. I’ve watched tourists come and climb, sit at its base, carve their names into it, hit it with sticks and of course, take pictures of it that they’ll remember forever.
This tree reminds me of the famous tree in the old Shel Silverstein poem, The Giving Tree. No matter how people use it or abuse it, it stands there and keeps giving, reaching ever further into the sky and spreading even further out.
I like trees. Especially this one.
Behind the camera
When I shot The Giving Tree, I was crouched down about 2 feet off the ground. The camera was on a tripod and I was waiting for the visitors to take their pictures, finish swinging from the limbs and move on. It was a warm day and the sun was almost fully overhead. Clouds would come and they would go, leaving me at times with really nice lighting (I prefer full cloud cover as there are less harsh shadows and highlights with the clouds). Eventually I got the chance to take the shot, and I fired away a few bracketed images. I didn’t think much of it at the time, as I’ve photographed The Giving Tree on so many occasions, but looking at it on the computer I quickly realized that I really liked this perspective better than any other capture of this tree.
The Giving Tree was photographed on the Island of Maui, Hawaii in June, 2021. It was shot in RAW format on a Nikon D850 with Nikon 24mm-70mm f2.8 lens. Aperture was set to f11, shutter speed was at 2.0 seconds to compensate for the darkness. It was shot at an ISO of 31. The camera was sitting on a Gitzo 3540L tripod about 2′ off the ground.