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Featured Projects

Stunning Images of The World’s Oldest Trees Lit Up By The Night Sky

By Hanssie on June 2nd 2015

beth-moon-oldest-trees-2For fourteen years, photographer Beth Moon set out to document the world’s oldest and rarest trees. After traveling over five continents, Beth amassed 60 photographs and compiled her fine art prints into a gorgeous book, “Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time.

This time around, inspired by science and the relationship between the growth of trees and celestial movement, Beth traveled to the remotest parts of the southern hemisphere, places untouched by light pollution and humans, to create this stunning series, Diamond Nights.

These tall and majestic trees stand proudly against the backdrop of the glittering night sky, a testament to its resilience and perseverance over thousands of years. Research shows us that cosmic radiation is the biggest impactor of growth in trees, even more so than temperature and rainfall. Also, in correlation with the moon and planets, tree buds change size and shape. In her artist’s statement, Beth quotes David Milarch in his book, “The Man Who Planted Trees,”

Trees are solar collectors. Most people equate that with the sun’s energy. But the sun is only one star, and there are billions of stars that influence the Earth with their radiation. I believe energies inside the earth are transmuted and transmitted into the cosmos by the trees, so the trees are like antennas, senders and receivers of earth energies and stellar energies.

beth-moon-oldest-trees-3 beth-moon-oldest-trees-5These fascinating monuments stand tall, overlooking the earth, living for centuries in its beauty, with a character all their own. Beth captures these magnificent trees using a wide angle lens on moonless nights using up to 30-second exposures. Each image required different lighting techniques to bring out the glow of each tree and each photo was aptly named after the constellations in the background.

To see more of Beth Moon’s stunning work and if you’re interested in her fine art prints, check out her galleries listed on her website:

beth-moon-oldest-trees-6 beth-moon-oldest-trees-7 beth-moon-oldest-trees-8 beth-moon-oldest-trees-9 beth-moon-oldest-trees-10 beth-moon-oldest-trees-11

[Via My Modern Met]

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ralph Hightower

    Stunning photos!. Photographing the Milky Way is on my “bucket list”.

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  2. Brian McCue

    Amazing pics, would like to know more about her different lighting techniques

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  3. Amy Harris

    Those look so magical, simply love them!!

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  4. Anthony McFarlane

    Beautiful work!

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  5. Justin Eid

    I do enjoy my astrophotography, I noticed the above images show the stars trailing slightly. I’m no expert but I leart that the perfect astrophotpgrahy shots are ones without the stars trailing? Don’t get me wrong, I like what she has done, I’ve just always deleted images where I’ve exposed the images too long that the stars trailed slightly.. Opinions welcomed!

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    • Sean Goebel

      When the stars toward the corners look like giant galaxy-shaped blobs, that’s coma.

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    • Justin Eid

      I see. I’ll look into that next time!

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    • Barry Cunningham

      The subjects here were the trees with the stars as background.
      It seems clear that the compromises were made in favor of the subject.

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  6. Sean Goebel

    Holy crap, you know your coma is out-of-control when it is massively visible in 600-pixel-wide web-sized images.

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  7. jozef povazan

    Nice work, just the title is misleading, there was light painting – torch or flash used on multiple of them, you can see the direction of the light by looking at the shadows which are not from the stars and moon :) Great images…

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  8. Jeff Morrison

    great work

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  9. Tosh Cuellar

    what a cool collection, beautiful images

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  10. Liam Doran

    Awesome work!

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  11. Thomas Horton

    I bet some light painting would work out well with these interesting trees.

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    • Barry Chapman

      Since it says, “Each image required different lighting techniques to bring out the glow of each tree” I suspect light painting was used. Hence the title wasn’t quite correct in saying the trees were “lit up by the night sky”.

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    • Hanssie

      According to Beath’s artist statement, “Each location required a lot of experimenting. and different lighting techniques. Sometimes a short burst of diffused light from a flashlight was sufficient, or bounced light from multiple flashlights was used for a softer more natural glow.”

      Those were all the specifics she gave.

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