Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom

A Mighty Big Tree

The Tree of Life rises above the foliage in Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World, as seen during our 2018 Florida Trip.

The Tree of Life rises above the foliage in Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World, as seen during our 2018 Florida Trip.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom recently celebrated its 22nd anniversary. Ever since our first visit to the park, we have enjoyed the beautiful scenery as well as all of the interesting animals that live there. It was a little strange that Disney’s Animal Kingdom and all of Walt Disney World were actually closed on its anniversary, but that is due to the time that we are living in right now.

I was searching for a good Animal Kingdom photo for this post, and I had to go back to our 2018 trip. I did visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom during the 2019 Band and Chorus Disney Trip, but I was only there for a few hours and did not take all that many photos. Shocking, I know.

The Tree of Life is a very recognizable symbol of Animal Kingdom, so I knew that was the photo that I wanted to share. While this is not really a “Happy Anniversary to Disney’s Animal Kingdom” post, it was definitely inspired by so many of the photos that others shared on the park’s anniversary. Not to be a copycat or bandwagon jumper, but I thought it was a good time to share another Tree of Life photo, so here you go.

If you are wondering, for this photo we were standing across the Discovery River, on the walkway that runs between Africa and Asia. I had crouched down low to be able to get the foliage in the foreground. I like how it looks like the tree is rising up from that foliage, even though there is actually a river separating them.


Whenever we are anywhere around the Tree of Life, I immediately feel small. After all, that tree is absolutely huge, as you can tell from the photo. The closer you get to it, the smaller you feel.

Sometimes, we equate feeling small with feeling insignificant. Everyone wants to feel important, and no one wants to feel like they do not matter. But sometimes when all sorts of things are going on, it is difficult to shake that feeling of insignificance. When we are told to stay home and not go out, so that we do not get to see so many of the friends and family that we enjoy being around, it is easy to feel like we don’t matter.

But don’t despair. You are still significant! People still care about you. Even though you many not have daily contact with them, they still care about you just like you care about them.

If you are feeling insignificant, reach out and contact someone. Make a phone call, send an email, write a letter. I bet whoever you reach out to will be happy to hear from you.

Because they just might be feeling insignificant, too.

Bible Verse

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. - Matthew 10:29-31

About the Photo

If you just skipped down to this section, there are several details above about this photo that you might want to go back and read, such as location and crouching position.

But here are some details about the processing. This photo was taken just a few moments after a previously posted Tree of Life photo. However, the earlier one was processed with Photoshop, using different layers and masks to create the look seen there. This one was processed with Aurora HDR just as a single layer. Different looks, different styles, different purposes. Which one do I like better, you might ask? Why do I have to choose a favorite, I might reply. There are good things about both.

The original photos were both very bland with an almost-washed-out sky. Both of the processed photos have much more depth and color to them, making them much more interesting to look at. See the earlier photo for a before-and-after look to see what I mean.

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Aurora HDR. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Olympus M.Zukio 25mm f1.8
Date: June 13, 2018
Location: Disney’s Animal KingdomWalt Disney WorldFlorida

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.