No Longer (Much Shorter) Under the Banyan
Two weeks ago I was on Lord Howe Island standing under this tree, what the islanders call a Banyan (Ficus macrophylla f. collumnaris - also sometimes called a subspecies, ssp., rather than form, f.').
One week ago I was standing under a 'Banyan' in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney being photographed as part of a story on the botanic gardens for Sydney Magazine (the glossy that comes free with the Sydney Morning Herald once a month). Don't worry, other people were photographed as well - five of us in all - to match up with interviews we did on science, the herbarium, guided walks, animals in the botanic gardens, Indigenous food plants and so on.
The sad thing is that the picture was no good. Apparently all but one picture (of our photogenic Indigenous Education Officer - yes, you, Clarence Slockee!) has too much person and not enough botanic garden.
So as the sun set over the city this afternoon - around 4.15 pm - I was rephotographed next to the giant Children's Fig (Ficus macrophylla f. macrophylla, in case you were wondering). This time I'm pretty much a scale bar. You'll be able to see how magnificent this tree is by looking at the tiny Director standing next to it! The Banyan is still there, but now in the background, and without me blocking out a dozen or so of its magnificent trunks.
I'm assuming this will be it. The final pictures were taken in medium or large format, with film. Good old fashioned photography. The discarded Banyan and me were all digital. We'll see the final result in the September issue of Sydney Magazine. Who knows what will survive the editorial process but you can be sure that Clarence peering out from the subtropical garden will be the money shot...