‘Diamond Nights’ and ‘Portraits of Time’: Beth Moon’s never-ending search for the oldest and rarest trees on earth


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Since 15 years the US-American photographer Beth Moon has been travelling across the continents looking for the tallest and oldest trees on earth. Many of the species she photographs are rare or at the brink of extinction.

In order to prevent them from being forgotten if they should die out, Moon makes prints using the platinum print process. This high-end printing method is very popular in art- and collectors circles because of the durability and high quality of the prints, which are remarkable for their soft transition between tonal values. However, the process is extremely complex and work-intensive – especially if one is making big contact prints like Moon. As can be gleaned from the video embedded below, a digital in-between-step is necessary to produce the prints, which are bigger than the actual negative. The negative has to be scanned so that a larger positive can be created, which then again is used to expose the photo-paper. However, as beautiful as the photos are, I earnestly hope that these fascinating trees will be there in the future for us to look at “in real” as well. 🙂

Wakehurst-Yews-Beth-Moon© Beth Moon

Heart-of-the-Dragon-Beth-Moon Desert-Rose-Wadi-Fa-Lang-copy-Beth-Moon Avenue-of-the-Baobabs-Beth-Moon© Beth Moon

Her newest photo-series “Diamond Nights” marks a change from her photographic workflow so far. Instead of in daylight and black-and-white, the motifs are shot against the background of a clear, starry night sky and in colour. However, as far as I am concerned, forgoing the complicated, analogue process does not make the photos any less impressive. 🙂

diamond-nights-beth-moon-1 diamond-nights-beth-moon-4 diamond-nights-beth-moon-3 diamond-nights-beth-moon-2© Beth Moon

You can find more information on Moon’s platinum print method here and in the following YouTube-video:

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