people2015.01.02 22:43


For the past 14 years, San Francisco-based photographer Beth Moon has journeyed to almost every continent in a quest to document some of the world's biggest, oldest, and rarest trees. Using the criteria of immense size, great age, and notable history to select her subjects, Moon tracks down magnificent trees located beyond the reaches of civilization on mountainsides, private estates, and protected lands. In her beautiful new book titled Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time, the photographer reveals the staggering beauty of baobabs, sequoias, yews, and other ancient trees that have stood the test of time.

The unique, timeless aesthetic of Moon's photos is due to the labor-intensive platinum and palladium process that she uses to create her prints, resulting in images that have an incredible tonal range. With textures and details rendered dramatically in a wide spectrum of grays, blacks, and whites, the duotone prints draw attention to the majestic power and longevity of each awe-inspiring tree.

"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, celebrating the wonders of nature that have survived throughout the centuries," Moon writes in her artist statement. "By feeling a larger sense of time, developing a relationship with the natural world, we carry that awareness with us as it becomes a part of who we are. I cannot imagine a better way to commemorate the lives of the world’s most dramatic trees, many which are in danger of destruction, than by exhibiting their portraits."

To purchase Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time, check out Abbeville Press, Amazon, or other retailers.

Above: Heart of the Dragon

Avenue of the Baobabs

General Sherman

Wakehurst Yews


Croft Castle Chestnut

The Lovers

Sentinels of St. Edwards

The Whittinghame Yew

The Strangler Fig


Bristle Cone Pine Relic

The Bowthorpe Oak

Bufflesdrift Baobab

Desert Rose (Wadi Fa Lang)




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