Books by "Beth Moon" (4)

Baobab

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A spectacular oversize photo book celebrating Africa’s most majestic trees—which are now facing an unprecedented ecological threat

Baobabs are one of Africa’s natural wonders: they can live more than 2,500 years, and their massive, water-storing trunks can grow to more than one hundred feet in circumference. They also serve as a renewable source of food, fiber, and fuel, as well as a focus of spiritual life. But now, suddenly, the largest baobabs are dying off , literally collapsing under their own weight. Scientists believe these ancient giants are being dehydrated by drought and higher temperatures, likely the result of climate change.

Photographer Beth Moon, already responsible for some of the most indelible images of Africa’s oldest and largest baobabs, has undertaken a new photographic pilgrimage to bear witness to this environmental catastrophe and document the baobabs that still survive. In this oversize volume, she presents breathtaking new duotone tree portraits of the baobabs of Madagascar, Senegal, and South Africa. She also recounts her eventful journey to visit these fantastic trees in a moving diaristic text studded with color travel photos.

Baobab is not only a compelling photo book and travel narrative, but also a timely ecological warning.

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Literary Chickens

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 From the best-selling photographer of Ancient Trees, an arresting collection of black-and-white chicken portraits paired with quotations from classic literature.

Fierce, funny, and flamboyant, fifty-two heritage-breed chickens assess the camera with a keen gaze. By focusing on the faces of her avian subjects, Beth Moon reveals them to us not just as beautiful and exotic creatures, but as individuals in their own right.

Moon’s intimate portraits capture a startling range of emotions and personalities, underscored by excerpts from literature. A martial Spanish White Face is flanked by a passage from Beowulf; a fantastical Buff-Laced Polish, by a line from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; and a refined Blue Polish, by a character sketch from Swann’s Way.

Essays by chicken keeper and best-selling author Melissa Caughey and cultural critic Collier Brown shed additional light on this fresh and remarkable body of work, which will appeal to animal lovers and literature buffs alike.

Beth Moon, a New York–based photographer, has gained international recognition for her large-scale, richly toned platinum-palladium prints. Her other books include Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time and Ancient Skies, Ancient Trees.

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Ancient Skies, Ancient Trees

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Photographer Beth Moon revisits the world’s oldest trees in the darkest places on earth, using color photography to capture vibrant nighttime skies

Throughout much of the world, night skies are growing increasingly brighter, but the force that protects the remaining naturally dark sky, unpolluted by artificial light, is the same that saves its ancient trees—isolation. Staking out some of the world’s last dark places, photographer Beth Moon uses a digital camera to reveal constellations, nebulae, and the Milky Way, in rich hues that are often too faint to be seen by the naked eye. As in her acclaimed first volume, Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time, these magnificent images encounter great arboreal specimens, including baobabs, olive trees, and redwoods, in such places as South Africa, England, and California.

In her artist’s statement, Beth Moon describes the experience of shooting at night in these remote places. An essay by Jana Grcevich, postdoctoral fellow of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History, provides the perspective of a scientist racing to study the stars in a world growing increasingly brighter. Clark Strand, the author of Waking Up to the Dark: Ancient Wisdom for a Sleepless Age, takes a different tack, illuminating the inherent spirituality of trees.

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Ancient Trees

Portraits of Time

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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. 

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