Trees - Black & White

Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.
— Anton Chekhov

Trees - Black & White

My goal with this series is to use light and composition to highlight the beauty of trees and explore as many aspects of general tree-ness as possible, creating a narrative at the level of an archetype or Platonic ideal. Looking at how they grow and adapt to the environment, and how I experience that relationship, is part of the discovery for me. Because this project sprouts from my own history, I want to both ensure a link to historical photographic processes and feel tangible objects in my hands the way I once felt the bark beneath my palms as I clambered along branches reaching for the sky.

Likely thousands of trees have graced my lens, but it was in creating a set of three framed prints as a Christmas present for my younger sister that the idea for this portfolio first took shape. In choosing to expand upon that gift and create a larger body of work, I began by mining previous output. But I wanted to formalize the project with a set of specific parameters, so while a small number of the final pieces began as exposed film before this portfolio was conceived, all of the prints are executed specifically for this project and conform with several guidelines established for the series as a whole.

Many of these considerations are based on material and history. For one, creating these images with black and white film is important because 1) film has an inherent grain structure that I feel complements the materiality of the subject, and 2) I feel that in this instance color detracts from the graphic qualities of line and form that showcase the beautiful essence of the subjects. In order for this work to connect with that material nature, it had to culminate in a set of physical prints on paper, and a wooden frame structure comprising the enclosure for the portfolio.

The final product will comprises a portfolio limited to an edition of only 5 copies. Each will contain a set of 8"x8" silver gelatin prints, matted to 12"x12" and housed in a handmade enclosure. More details will be posted on the blog when it is completed.