The story behind the photograph: 'A Map of Time'

Black and white photograph of cracked tree rings in a weathered old tree tells a story of time

The rings tell the story of time passing in the life of a tree. I found this weathered old beauty in the shade of a mountain in Colorado, and its delicious texture alone would have been enough to merit a photograph. I counted approximately 75 rings.

With its beautiful rings and cracked subdivisions, it perfectly resembles a map  hence my title for this photograph, "A Map of Time."

More to the story

But there's more to this story than just rings in a weathered old fallen tree. The mountain casting the shade over this old tree happened to be Mesa Verde, home to more than 600 ancient Native American cliff dwellings, which were abandoned around 1300 AD, after 650 years of occupation.

Imagine that! 650 years of people living on the site, and that's in addition to thousands of years of previous nomadic activity on the location. It's only been 527 years since Columbus "discovered" America in 1492. This is what makes this photograph of the weathered old tree significant to me  it represents not only the life of a tree, but the larger life of a civilization which existed and exited from the area long before westerners arrived on the continent. 

Prints of 'A Map of Time'

Fine art black and white prints of "A Map of Time" can be purchased here

A Map of Time by Keith Dotson

Black and white photograph of the rings of a cracked and weathered fallen tree, by fine art photographer Keith Dotson. Click the photograph to buy a print.

A Map of Time, in four parts

I recently had the pleasure of working with an architectural design firm to place "A Map of Time" into the NCH corporate headquarters in Irving, Texas. The designers wanted the image printed in four large quadrants and framed separately. I think the result is pretty great.

Each section is 48-inches square.

A Map of Time


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