Friday, January 23, 2015

Book Series: Ancient Trees ~ Portraits of Time, is a Collection of Beautiful, Stoic Images that Feel Suspended in Time

The Bowthorpe Oak is a massively thick, millennium-old tree in Lincolnshire, England that once was rumored to hold three dozen people in its enormous, hollowed-out trunk. Beth Moon photographed the leafy giant some 15 years ago and was struck by its solemn nobility and overwhelming presence. Thus began a pilgrimage that would take her around the world to document the planet’s most ancient trees.

The series and corresponding photo book, Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time, is a collection of beautiful, stoic images that feel suspended in time.

Though our distant ancestors left the shelter and safety of trees some 3.5 million years ago, Moon’s work points to our enduring affinity for—and exploitation of—really, really big trees.

Moon shoots black and white film with a medium format Pentax camera. She then uses a labor-intensive platinum printing process that lends these images a rich tonal scale and nearly three dimensional appearance—always on the same naturally deckled, deeply textured Arche Platine paper made by a French mill since 1492. Platinum, like gold, is a stable metal. Her prints could last thousands of years, much like the ancient trees she photographs.

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