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The Age of Our Trees

The past and future of Massachusetts' forests
Last edited 115 days ago by Ben Grant

All concept images for our photo book’s style are AI-generated by OpenAI’s DALL·E 2 model


Our goal is to delve deeply into the rich history of Massachusetts' forests, emphasizing the age and ecological significance of old-growth trees. Our project takes a unique approach, producing a photo book blending modern research with vintage photographic techniques. By capturing images of old-growth trees in a vintage style, we aim to not only tell our audience about their age but allow them to feel the weight of history. We believe that conveying the age of these trees through photography can inspire reverence for nature and garner greater respect for these vital ecosystems.

DALL·E 2023-10-25 22.34.01 - Minimalistic professionally bound photo book with vintage black and white photograph of an old growth tree on the cover.png

Key Components


We will employ vintage image-making techniques to capture photos of old-growth trees in Massachusetts. The vintage style will imbue the images with a sense of historical significance, connecting the viewer to the past. We are planning on traveling to a nearby old-growth forest in Massachusetts to shoot our images. We have yet to decide which forest we will visit, as this will decision involves a balance between the value of our visit and the time/money cost of traveling, but we’ve a good .

DALL·E 2023-10-25 22.43.58 - Minimalistic professionally bound photo book with vintage 1900s black and white photograph of a large old growth white pine tree on the cover.png
DALL·E 2023-10-26 00.45.03 - opened minimal photo book black pages spread with vintage 1900s black and white photographs of logging in new england.png

Historical Imagery

We plan to collaborate with local historical societies to gather historical photographs of the logging industry in Massachusetts. These images will provide a visual narrative of the changes our forests have witnessed over time due to human activity.
DALL·E 2023-10-26 00.44.52 - opened minimal photo book black pages spread with vintage 1900s black and white photographs of logging in new england.png
DALL·E 2023-10-26 00.42.29 - opened minimal photo book layflat black two page spread with with vintage 1900s black and white photographs of lumberjack workers in new england.png
We will also reach out to the East Coast’s leading expert on old-growth forests and cofounder of Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest and the Native Tree Society . It would be great to meet with him in person and share our project with him, especially if he lives in Western Mass. We could probably drive out there and visit him AND photograph some old growth in the same trip!

Cultural Dimension

In addition to historical photographs, we aim to visit local museums to photograph ancient Native American wood-crafted artifacts. This will add a cultural perspective to our project, highlighting the longstanding relationship between indigenous communities and the forest. Adfditionally we will explore colonial through to 20th-century wood crafting and carpentry, giving context and due mention to the incredible skill demonstrated by those who use wood as a practical and artistic medium.
DALL·E 2023-10-26 00.53.03 - minimal photo book two page spread with black and white photographs of native american birch bark crafts.png


We will craft a narrative that weaves together modern photography with historical imagery, telling the story of Massachusetts' forests from pre-colonial times to the present. The narrative will emphasize the ecological impact of human interaction with these landscapes.

Engagement and Education

Our project aims not only to inform but to engage. We believe that our vintage-style photographs and the inclusion of historical elements will emotionally connect our audience to the forests. This connection will encourage a sense of reverence for nature and spark conversations about the importance of preserving these ecosystems.

Project Timeline

Begin research and photography early to ensure a comprehensive collection of images.
Simultaneously develop the narrative and design of the photo book.
Seek feedback from our professor and peers to refine the project.
Fabricate our photo book by hand using equipment available at Olin.
Prepare an engaging presentation via a webpage that summarizes our findings and encourages discussion. The webpage will serve as a companion to the photo book so we can more


We are excited to embark on this project, which we believe will be a unique and impactful contribution to BCB. By combining vintage photographic techniques with historical imagery, we aim to create a project that not only educates but also inspires a deeper appreciation for Massachusetts' ancient forests and encourages action in the name of climate change mitigation and sustainability. We hope that our photo book will stay at Olin and inspire future classes to create projects that hold personal meaning to them and create lasting value in our community.

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