Seeing Trees (2011)
Robert Llewellyn published Seeing Trees: Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees with 180 of his photographs through Timber Press in 2011. Working again with Nancy Ross Hugo as writer, garden columnist of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, together they reveal "an unexpected and alien beauty" that can be discovered in the minute detail of trees.
“When I first looked at trees — really looked at them — it was like meeting another civilization.” — Robert Llewellyn
An earlier collaboration with Nancy Ross Hugo, a four-year effort to document one hundred of Virginia's "largest, oldest, most historic, beautiful and beloved trees," resulted in the 2008 publication of the "keepsake book" Remarkable Trees of Virginia.
In Seeing Trees, Llewellyn shows how the Virginia pine tree "sports baby, adolescent and mature cones all on the same branch," and how acorns of the sawtooth oak are wrapped in tufts like sea anemones while the pink flower of the redbud appears like a hummingbird.
To capture such images, the photographer relied on "innovative digital camera technology." Mounting small sections of live samples below a vertically-mounted, motorized camera — which would travel just an eighth of an inch to capture two dozen frames. Composite pictures would later be assembled by computer from "the sharpest areas of each image."
"Between [Nancy Ross Hugo]’s expansive and attentive reflections and Llewellyn’s astonishing photos, [Seeing Trees and Trees Up Close] will reveal how you’ve failed to notice everything. But they also prove that it is never too late to stand still, lean in, and see." — Richard Powers, author The Overstory (winner 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
"My favorite new book this season . ." — Dominique Browning, New York Times
"The authors have brought the level of observation to new heights, presenting the daintiest parts of trees — buds, flower parts and seeds in various stages of ripening — in a way that hasn’t been seen, generally." — The Washington Post
"You can't help but be bowled over by the beauty at play in the science." — Chicago Tribune
"A splendid book." — Philadelphia Inquirer
Title: Seeing Trees: Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees
Photographs: Robert Llewellyn
Words: Nancy Ross Hugo
Publisher: Timber Press, Portland and London
Pages: 245 pp Book Dimensions: 8.77 x 10.4 in. (265mm x 225mm) Images: 175 color photographs
Seeing Trees is available directly through the publisher, Timber Press, or through Amazon.