I led a group of students on a photo trip in January to the Southwest, and our last stop was Moab. On a scouting excursion one morning, one of the students (an emerging capable photographer in her own right) asked why I spent so much time with trees, since “they all seemed so alike.”
They’re not, I told her. Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, John Shaw and Brett Weston–to name just a few–spent time with trees. They have a spirit, I said, and to find the personality and the essence of a tree means taking time to talk with it. She proceeded to focus a lot more on trees for the duration of the trip, and by the end, admitted she had a new respect for the allure of trees.