"Some of my best friends have been trees. My brothers and I had a couple of 'stations' in the tree in the backyard when I was a kid. That tree was big enough to accommodate all three of us and when we were ready it would take off, being our rocket ship in the age of Captain Video. In the alley a couple of blocks away there was a stump that was my secret retreat, also a rocket, but with better controls and much faster. I never told my brothers about it.
"In the 1970s I did a series of landscapes at night that featured parks, golf courses, and cemeteries, and trees played a major role although they were not really the subject. I did get to know some of the trees in Highland Park and Mt. Hope Cemetery quite well and still visit them occasionally.
"I like to think about Edward Steichen photographing the Shad-Blow Tree outside his window in Connecticut. He recorded it throughout the seasons, at different times of day, in various weather conditions for several years, described in his book 'Steichen, A Life in Photography'. When I first read that I presumed that the challenge was photographic, but now I think that he was really struggling to create a print that matched his image of the tree. I've attempted to make prints that capture the spirit of these trees."
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