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This Iranian Photographer Focuses on the Black-and-White Beauty of Trees


Ali Shokri is an Iranian landscape and nature photographer who has become known for his black-and-white photos of trees. The Passion of Trees is a collection of photos he has captured over the years in Iran and Azerbaijan.

Ali says his work is a reminder that we need to take care of our natural world. As deforestation and the development of roads and dams ate away at the beauty of forests he has loved since childhood, Shokri began using his camera to try and make a difference.

“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.”

“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…”

You can find more of Shokri’s work on his website, Instagram, and in his book.

Image credits: Photographs by Ali Shokri and used with permission