Out on a Limb
The results of Balog's derring-do are on display in Tree: A New Vision of the American Forest, which captures stunning images, often montages, of 92 trees. At right is Stagg, a 242-ft. giant sequoia located near Nelson, Calif., that is the world's fifth-largest tree. Balog, 52, a contributing editor for National Geographic Adventure, spent two days shooting the conifer, rigging it with ropes with help from three fellow climbers (one is pictured near the treetop). "It takes guys with very specialized skills to make it safe," he explains.
Not safe enough for Balog's wife, Suzanne, 37, who lives with their 3-year-old daughter Emily Joy in Boulder, Colo. (he also has a 16-year-old daughter, Simone, from his first marriage). When her husband starts dangling from tree branches, "that's when I walk away," she explains. "It's better not to know."