The Passion of Trees is a photo series 16 years in the making
Ali Shokri is an Iranian landscape and nature photographer, who has spent the last sixteen years working on a series about trees.
Shokri describes himself as always having a love for the outdoors, and has been active as a passionate nature photographer since 2004. His images have been captured in Iran and Azerbaijan, and a collection of his work was published in his book The Passion of Trees in 2017.
Shokri says his work is a reminder that we need to take care of our natural world, and is something he's focused on since noticing the effects of deforestation and the development of roads and dams in the forests near his home.
“To me, each tree, like a human being, has a tale to tell,” Shokri says. “When a tree dies, a whole story is interrupted, a destiny is altered for the worse. I feel as if the trees, bundled at the back of trucks, are cursing us with their broken hands, wounded faces, and severed roots.
“Perhaps this is how we are led towards damnation, little by little stripped of our humanity, when man’s ‘abounding foliage moistened with the dew’ is reduced to ash and smoke.”
The nature is a mirror to show us what is going inside us. Why we cant be kind with the nature and the lungs of the earth- trees-? Yes, the lungs of the earth. How we can damage her lungs. As an artist, I believe that the art brings us responsibility and introducing the lungs of the earth is my responsibility.
I know I can’t save our trees with my photographs,” Shokri says. “I can’t restore Nature to her imperious verdure, yet I try to capture the lonesomeness and exile of the trees and encourage the viewers to look at nature with a different gaze, to remember that in the absence of trees the birds are homeless and there’s no air to breathe, to remember that if there are no trees humanity has already vanished…”