Not too long ago, billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson created a challenge for the world: Branson would offer millions to the individual who could create a device capable of capturing carbon dioxide emissions in the most efficient way possible. Too bad for Branson that those devices already exist in nature, and they’re known as trees.
As the Branson example shows, trees are often taken for granted. They are commonplace but crucial for sustaining life on Earth, and many are much older than we think. There’s a reason why in cartoons, trees are projected to be old and wise; some trees that we pass on our daily commutes stood as Confederate and Union soldiers were engaging in the multi-year bloodbath known as the Civil War.
Beth Moon has spent fourteen years of her life documenting the world’s oldest and most interesting trees through photography and print making, ultimately traveling around the globe and compiling her findings into the book, “Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time”.
But these aren’t just any old prints; Moon uses a complex printing technique called the platinum or palladium process, which ensures that her prints last an incredibly long time—just like the trees she captures. As Moon says,”With platinum printing, noted for its beautiful luminosity and wide tonal scale, the absence of a binder layer allows very fine crystals of platinum to be embedded into the paper giving it a 3 dimensional appearance. Unrivaled by any other printing process, platinum, like gold, is a stable metal. A print can last for thousands of years.”