“That Tree” of Life

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Sometime this past Winter, I stumbled upon a Sierra Club post about a tree.  “That Tree,” it said, was a solitary bur oak in Iowa.  Not so interesting, you might think  But you’d be wrong. 

One day a little over a year ago, Mark Hirsch purchased his first iPhone (luddite!).  Goaded by a friend into testing out the camera, he snapped his first photo of a tree he’d admired every day of his 19-year commute to work.  Mark is a professional photographer, but he’d NEVER photographed this tree.  After that first photo, he took another and then another, until soon, he was taking a photo of the tree every day.  He took the last one on March 23rd after 365 days and all 4 seasons – the results are a true homage to the cycle of life.  It’s almost like leafing (yay, puns!) through someone’s intimate family portraits because the photos are so lovingly constructed.  You can see them all here (and my favorites below), and buy the book, That Tree, An iPhone Photo Journal Documenting a Year-in-the-Life of a Lonely Bur Oak, in August for the tree hugger hippie in your life!

We all pass by certain places every day and barely even see them – like really SEE them. So I love the idea of photographing one thing every day, watching it change and preserving it in detail.  (Not that the Instagram photos of my first McGriddle weren’t also important.)

I can imagine so many places to do this in NYC.  What would you photograph?

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An iPhone Photo Journal documenting A Year in the Life of That Tree

An iPhone Photo Journal documenting A Year in the Life of That Tree

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A Year in the Life of That Tree

An iPhone Photo Journal documenting A Year in the Life of That Tree

An iPhone Photo Journal documenting A Year in the Life of That Tree

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0 Comments

    1. Holy sneakers – what an honor to hear from you! I admire your body of work and am thrilled to have even floated passed your radar. I’m a producer for National Geographic TV with a love for photography (it’s how I ended up here), and something about your Tree photos really moves me. (As a born-and-bred Wisconsite, they also remind me of home!)

      1. The one with the corn cob got me. I have really been looking at what is around me lately and this study really highlights that we all have powerful images at out doorstep. Just a matter of putting them together I guess.

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