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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

A Book for Tree Huggers

A Book for Tree Huggers

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Wednesday, February 19, 2020/Categories: natural history, wildlife conservation, photography, sustainability, art and design, environment, adventure , plants

Who doesn't love trees? That would be very strange considering all the benefits they provide: watershed protection, forest products, wildlife habitat, history, and beauty. The list is almost endless.

Portrait photographer Beth Moon undertook a decade-long project to locate the oldest arboreal specimens she could find and photograph them. Combining modern digital photography with the amazing detail that can be created in the print darkroom, Moon produced ethereal depictions of her subjects. From the General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park; massive oaks in Englad; to bulbous baobabs of Madagascar, and the Dragon's Blood Trees
(Dracaena cinnabari), mysterious since the ancient Greeks, she produced otherworldly platinum prints of these trees and more.

                                               Baobab Forest, Madagascar  (credit: Beth Moon)

In the darkroom where photographic magic is produced, she created labor-intensive prints from her digital negatives. The process is sometimes called "alternative photography" because of its ancient, detailed, and archival appearance. The photographer commented on the process; 

“It may be that photography has one more dimension still largely unexplored, one more joy. It unfolds when we go beyond the taking of the marvelous image, into the making of the marvelous expression of the image. When we go beyond the artist’s eye, to the artist’s hand.”

Moon's photography also reveals a sad reality. In many of the images the ancient groves of forest "elders" show little to no signs of reproduction. Young trees are missing due to one environmental stress or another. Her photographs represent records of what is being lost from ignorance and abuse.

  Bowthorpe Oak , England (credit: Beth Moon)    and    Dragon's Blood Trees, Yemen  (credit: Beth Moon)

The photographer has published 60 of her studio images in the book: Ancient Trees; Portraits of Time. If there are any 'tree huggers' in your world, this is the perfect book for he or she!



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