Trees – A Book By Art Wolfe
What’s On Kevin’s Bookshelf
This is not a book review. I am not good at book reviews. This is about some of the hundreds of books that are on my bookshelves. These are books I have bought, paid for, and in which I find great pleasure and inspiration, whether I am reading pages of text or studying images in one of my many coffee table books. I’ll be featuring selections from my bookshelf often. If you choose to check out or purchase one of them for yourself, I hope you will take as much joy from it as I do.
Trees by Art Wolfe
Trees: Between Earth and Heaven, hardcover – November 20, 2018
by Gregory McNamee (author), Art Wolfe (photographer), Wade Davis (introduction)
Hardcover selling for $46.39 and available from Amazon
Art Wolfe is a terrific and very special friend of mine. I have been super fortunate to have photographed and taught with Art at many locations around the world. In fact, Art and Michael Reichmann were best men at my wedding in Antarctica in 2014.
There are a lot of good and great photographers out there, but no one is quite like Art when it comes to the skill with which he articulates his images. If you really want to experience the magic of Art, you need to hear him speak.
His vision will get you fired up. Even as long as I’ve known Art, I still get giddy after spending time with him. He always has new ideas and he is always working on projects, even ones that will take years to complete. For years I have heard him speaking about the book, Trees. While he was shooting wildlife and landscapes in one location, he was also shooting for upcoming projects, including this book.
I own a number of books by Art Wolf, and my most cherished is from The Human Canvas project. Check out the webpage and remarkable video. More than anything else, I encourage you to purchase the book. While it is not inexpensive, it is one that will earn a permanent place on your coffee table, just as my copy has.
Let’s get back to the Trees book. Since I had heard so much about this book, I ordered it right away. Of course, I requested a signed copy. The night it arrived, I sat in my living room chair and began what would take many evenings fully poring over this visual masterpiece. Unlike many coffee table books with a nice intro and then a ton of photographs, Trees takes you for an adventure around the world with beautifully composed images and also text telling the story of different species. I loved it. I learned so much and was again inspired to get out there and look at trees and make them part of my regular landscape photos.
Something that Art has drilled into me over the years is to find the picture within the picture. This is the case for many images of the trees Art shares in the book. I am guilty of shooting the postcard landscape. Within each of those landscapes are other pictures. Art has shown me how to put on a long lens when needed and to explore the landscape, whether it be a rock wall or trees, in order to find the other photos lurking there. Many of these tree photographs are pictures found within other pictures.
Challenge yourself. Use a long lens and shoot into a tree to discover its incredible beauty. Two other photographers who I feel do a great job with this are Charlie Cramer, and Steve Friedman. Check out their sites and be inspired.
Art’s book is printed on a gorgeous suede-like paper that has a perfect tactile feel to it. There are a few pull-out panels offering panoramic views to give even more impact.
I am proud to have a signed copy of this book. I will enjoy and cherish it for the rest of my life. My books are special to me, and because printmaking is becoming rarer with every passing year, books are becoming lost treasures. Hopefully, Art has more great books in store for us. I’ll share at a later date details on some of his others. My recommendation is that you click on the link above and get yourself a copy of this book. Even if you aren’t a photographer, you’ll be awed by what you see.
Photography is my passion and has been for 50 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of picture taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can, hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through photoPXL.com, this site, as well as Rockhopper Workshops, and other projects, as well as teaching as Artist In Residence at the Indianapolis Art Center.