Photographer Beth Moon spent 14 years traveling around the world taking pictures of the most ancient trees on Earth. The resulting photos—printed in platinum for a wider tonal range and stunning luminosity—are compiled in her book Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time.

Picture above: Desert Rose.

Bufflesdrift Baobab.

The Bowthorpe Oak.

Many of the trees I have photographed have survived because they are out of reach of civilization; on mountainsides, private estates, or on protected land. Certain species exist only in a few isolated areas of the world. For example; there are 6 species of spectacular baobabs, found only on the island of Madagascar. Sadly, the baobab is now one of the three most endangered species on the island.


Bristle Cone Pine Relic.



The Strangler Fig.

The criteria I use for choosing particular trees are basically three: age, immense size or notable history. I research the locations by a number of methods; history books, botanical books, tree registers, newspaper articles and information from friends and travelers.


The Whittinghame Yew.


The Lovers.

Croft Castle Chestnut.



Wakehurst Yews.

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. 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.


General Sherman.


Avenue of the Baobabs.

Heart of the Dragon.

Beth Moon is a photographer based in San Francisco. You can follow her on Facebook, check out her work on her website and buy her book Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time here.


This is part of a series in which we are featuring futuristic, striking, and just beautiful photography. If you are a photographer with awesome work, please drop me a line here.

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