According to recent scientific studies, cosmic rays are more powerful than ever imagined; in fact they have a greater impact on tree growth than climate. San Francisco-based Photographer Beth Moon was so greatly moved by these latest discoveries she created a project in honor known as the “Diamond Nights” project.
Beth has been photographing some of the world’s oldest trees for over 14 years, but she almost always does so in daylight. Her latest project focuses on trees during the night, when they are illuminated by nothing other than starlight.
There were two different studies that inspired Moon’s change in approach. The first found that cosmic radiation has a greater impact on tree growth than annual rainfall or temperature. The second study discovered tree buds change in size and shape according to the location of the moon and planets.
Moon writes on her website, “Our relationship to the wild has always played an important role in my work. This series was inspired by two fascinating, scientific studies that connect tree growth with celestial movement and astral cycles.”
Moon mainly focuses on baobab and quiver trees found throughout South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia. In honor of the scientific studies that inspired Moon’s project, the talented artist named each photo based on the constellation pictured in the background.
Moon spent hours researching to find the perfect trees for her latest project. Once she found a tree that interested her she would have a guide take her to its location during the day, as each one is in the middle of nowhere without a soul in sight. She would leave a collection of stones at the base of the tree in order to recognize it when she came back at night with only a flashlight.