Of Reverence and Awe: Trees by Raghu Rai • Magnum Photos

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Of Reverence and Awe: Trees by Raghu Rai

A personal homage to the majesty of trees by Magnum photographer, avid gardener and nature lover

Raghu Rai

The tree has been one of those enduring subjects, which has been consistently photographed since the beginning of photography. It has been an object of reverence and awe. An avid gardener and nature lover, Raghu Rai’s photographs were not made in pursuit of a book or exhibition, which he has made many and had plenty of. Instead, we witness his unrelenting and private passion for a subject he had no option but to make photographs of. In Raghu Rai’s photographs, the tree is idealized for its beauty and mourned when it is destroyed. Through his lens, we experience the tree as a living monument—not only as a graphic symbol but we also observe human presence around it.