To all the Mitch Epstein fans out there — This interview on the Times Magazine by Kathy Ryan, the magazine’s photography director, is a must read.
Kathy Ryan: What inspired you to do the trees?
Mitch Epstein: Trees have long been an interest of mine, and I wanted to do a piece that was in part about New York and also a work that would take me forward from “American Power,” where I spent five years traveling the country looking at sites where energy was produced and consumed. It had long been an idea in the back of my head to photograph trees in New York. A year ago I was traveling in the Everglades, and I had the intuition this was the time to do it. That led me to buying a box of 8-by-10 black-and-white sheet film. I’m essentially a color photographer. But I had this instinct that color would be an interference with the pictures I wanted to make. I really wanted the trees to be a part of the city — to be contextualized by the city.