The San Francisco-based photographer, Beth Moon, in search for the world’s most ancient trees, embarked on a fourteen year quest that took her across the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Over the course of her long and far-reaching travels, Moon managed to capture captivating, moving and majestic images of trees that truly feel as old as time.
In 2014, Abbeville Press published a collection of sixty of Moon’s duotone photos in the book, “Ancient Trees: Portraits Of Time”. The work ranges from isolated trees, found in various types of remote locations, to full-bodied ones standing proudly among civilizations.
The book contains captions with the photographer's narrative that describe both the natural and cultural history of each pictured tree. The book of photographs is also accompanied by writings by other experts in their respective fields that shed more light on various aspects sorrounding ancient trees such as their preservation and as an art form.
In choosing what to photograph, Moon follows the criteria of age, size and history. Using history books and botany references, tree registers and newspaper articles, she tracks down tree survivors in various locations. Some trees are even aged at over a thousand years old!
Thanks to the beautiful worlds captured by Moon’s lens and her special platinum process, we are reminded of the power of time and nature.
In her artistic statement, Beth Moon expresses her motivations and aspirations for the prints: “Standing as the Earth’s largest and oldest living monuments, I believe these symbolic trees will take on a greater significance, especially at a time when our focus is directed at finding better ways to live with the environment”.
Beth Moon’s work can also be seen in the VERVE Gallery of Photography
Author: Gal Shyli Dayan