Ancient Trees

Portraits of Time

Release Date
Format Hardcover 104 pages 11 x 11 inches 60 duotones
Category Photography
ISBN-13 978-0-78921-195-8

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

Holiday Gift Guide Selection -- San Francisco Chronicle

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 English churchyards; 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 grow only 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. 


2015 Holiday Gift Guide Selection — San Francisco Chronicle



In our age of mass species extinctions, we never know from where, if anywhere, consolation may come. Try looking at Beth Moon's new book, Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time. —  San Francisco Chronicle

A project with weight and lasting beauty … Ancient Trees provides the kind of thorough and thoughtful portrait that each of these majestic long-lived survivors deserves. — Christian Science Monitor

[Moon] creates magical images that in their blacks and whites, silvers and grays, capture the marvel of arboreal forms and textures . . . [a] jewel of a book. — Booklist, Starred Review

Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time is well named. One cannot look at Beth Moon's images of gnarled, overgrown trees and not feel the intrinsic gravity of time. — Printers Row Journal, Chicago Tribune

The photographer reveals heart-stopping images of bulging plants reaching to the heavens and the horizon.  Huffington Post

Showcases towering redwoods, broccoli-shaped baobabs and gnarled trunks growing out of ancient temples.  Wall Street Journal

A collection of beautiful, stoic images that feel suspended in time.  — WIRED

There are some incredible, ancient trees around the world. Take an hour to learn about them with ... Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time— Bustle 

A gorgeous look at some of the oldest trees on earth — Slate

In our age of mass species extinctions, we never know from where, if anywhere, consolation may come. Try looking at Beth Moon’s new book, Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time— SF Gate

Trees are notoriously hard to photograph, but Moon captures their individuality with reverent portrayals…these are lavish, awe-inspiring pictures ... Crossing with ease between realms of natural history and art, this will appeal to all with even the mildest horticultural or photographic interests. — Library Journal

Full of strangest and most magnificent trees ever. — The Telegraph

Beth Moon’s stunning images capture the power and mystery of the world’s remaining ancient trees. ... Beth’s portraits will surely inspire many to help those working to save these magnificent trees. — Dr. Jane Goodall



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