Ancient Trees: Beth Moon’s 14-Year Quest to Photograph the World’s Most Majestic Trees

Beth Moon’s fourteen-year quest to photograph ancient trees has taken her across the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Some of her subjects grow in isolation, on remote mountainsides, private estates, or nature preserves; others maintain a proud, though often precarious, existence in the midst of civilization. All, however, share a mysterious beauty perfected by age and the power to connect us to a sense of time and nature much greater than ourselves. It is this beauty, and this power, that Moon captures in her remarkable photographs.

This handsome volume presents sixty of Moon’s finest tree portraits as full-page duotone plates. The pictured trees include the tangled, hollow-trunked yews—some more than a thousand years old—that grow in Englishchurchyards; the baobabs of Madagascar, called “upside-down trees” because of the curious disproportion of their giant trunks and modest branches; and the fantastical dragon’s-blood trees, red-sapped and umbrella-shaped, that growonly on the island of Socotra, off the Horn of Africa.

Moon’s narrative captions describe the natural and cultural history of each individual tree, while Todd Forrest, vice president for horticulture and living collections at the New York Botanical Garden, provides a concise introduction to the biology and preservation of ancient trees. An essay by the critic Steven Brown defines Moon’s unique place in a tradition of tree photography extending from William Henry Fox Talbot to Sally Mann, and explores the challenges and potential of the tree as a subject for art.

Beth Moon, a photographer based in San Francisco, makes her exhibition prints exclusively with the platinum/palladium process, which allows for the greatest possible permanence and tonal range. Moon’s work has been published widely in magazines, and she is represented by galleries in the United States, Italy, Israel, Brazil, and Dubai.

Responses to "Mesmerizing black-and-white photographs of the world’s most majestic ancient trees."

  1. Nisha says:

    Loved the black and white - beautiful!

  2. Very powerful images .

  3. beautiful

  4. I totally want to visit them all now. Gorgeous dryad shapes and movement.

  5. Sinnajatagasi says:

    Images are very powerful. I`d prefer to know the species and places where each shot was taken.I like trees and i like these photos too, very much, but ...

  6. Jacky says:

    Beautiful. May we know what species of trees they are?

  7. casey says:

    Thanks always a good story!

  8. delumiere says:


  9. graystoke says:

    why on erth did it take her 14yrs??! i see the majority of these (beautifully photographed) trees annually!

  10. cmax says:


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