My selections for In Celebration of Trees represent a very high diversity of tree species, settings and styles. Foremost among my criteria, each image reveals the centrality of tree-as-subject, supported by composition and legibility. Even the shortest narrative must roll from the tongue of the photo, to tell of the tree’s vitality, adaptability, steadfastness, or vulnerability and awkwardness.
In some images, the intellect and calculations of the photographer can be noticed, and in others a simple spontaneous elation from seeing light on leaves carries the message that this tree is important. These higher levels of Tree Consciousness speak well for all who participated. By nature, I tend to stay away from the infrared filtration and color enhancements, but I found the representations of apparent early photo techniques generally intriguing.
Trees are a challenging photographic subject. There are days when none appear worthy of exposure, but even so the search can be good mental conditioning for the right opportunity to appear.
About the Juror:
Tom Zetterstrom’s Portraits of Trees represents the diversity and beauty of America’s forest resources. His 35-year dedication to trees imbues this endeavor with a unified artistic vision, sharpened by his very personal commitment to issues of local and global sustainability. Tom’s photographic career spans 45 years. His work as a freelance photojournalist in the ’70s and ’80s ranged from the New York Times Magazine and op-ed pages to A Day in the Life of America. His photographic eye has repeatedly responded to environmental issues over the decades. Zetterstrom’s documentary portfolios include White Russia, 1973 (in the Library of Congress archive); Faces of China, 1981(sponsored and toured by the Yale-China Association); and Man and Machine, 1973-1976. Photographs from Zettertrom’s various portfolios are represented in 40 museum collections throughout the United States.