Fine Art Photography Daily

Earth Week: Ina Echternach: Burning Trees


© Ina Echternach, First tree – Master of Decarbonisation: 400+ tonnes of carbon per hectare, that’s how much a young forest with mixed native species can sequester (bind?) in branches, trunks, leaves, roots and soil.

The bodies of work that I will be sharing during Earth Week are linked by this thematic lens: making the often-invisible nature of the global climate and the ecological crisis more visible using conceptual, lens-based art techniques. Each body of work speaks to a different aspect of the climate and ecological crisis: loss of place; waste; sea level rise, plastic pollution, industrial meat production, desertification, and fire. These bodies of work seek to uncover the hidden interdependence of both social and natural systems and challenge us to re-examine our relationships with each other and this planet.


© Ina Echternach, Second tree – Protector of Water and Soil: Mature trees improve water quality and enrich our soils with nutrients.

Born 27 May 1970, Echternach lives in the Siebengebirge nature park near Bonn (Germany). Besides photography, Ina Echternach works in marketing for sustainable products.

Ina Echternach is mainly focused on landscape photography. Every journey of discovery into nature fascinates Ina Echternach anew. She lets herself be guided by nature, feels the magic of places and tries to capture these moments of timelessness in her pictures.

Polaroid film is the perfect medium for Ina Echternach to create her mystical natural landscapes.

Echternach’s work has been exhibited in the USA, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy and Spain. She is a member of the international artist collective “The 12.12 Project“.

Follow Ina Echternach:@iamina


© Ina Echternach, Third tree – Guardian of Biodiversity: From roots to crown, thousands of species live on a single tree: animals, plants, bacteria and fungi. Trees provide them with habitat, food and shelter. Trees are an ecosystem of their own.

Burning Trees

With the Polaroid collage series “burning trees” I want to draw attention to important players in the fight against the climate crisis: the trees!

Each tree in this series conveys facts about how trees secure our livelihoods. They provide shade, bind carbon, offer habitats for other species, improve soils, stabilise the water balance, are witnesses of time and active climate savers.

Before I assemble the individual Polaroids into a tree mosaic, I let them burn in a microwave. They shift colours, throw bubbles and have holes. In this way, I want to irritate the viewer and want to make him reflect: Why do we destroy the nature around us, although it is the greatest ally for our survival?

I am sure: nature has great power. Life will continue on earth – with or without humans. So let’s try to see trees and an intact nature as the greatest chance to solve the climate crisis.

The images in this series were created in a hybrid workflow. The starting point of the process are my individual tree pictures, which were taken over the years with a wide variety of cameras (Polaroid, analogue, digital). In the “Polaroid darkroom” I exposed the digitised and then cut to size photos on Polaroid film and then burned them individually in the microwave. With this step of destruction, I made our actions towards nature tangible for me and visible for the viewer. -Ina Echternach


© Ina Echternach, Fourth tree – Shade Giver: Trees provide local cooling by evaporation through their leaves and by providing shade. Trees can cool the air in cities by 2 to 8 degrees Celsius


© Ina Echternach, Fifth tree – Air Purifier: A fully grown tree can supply 18 people with oxygen every year. But trees do not only supply oxygen. They also clean the air. Their leaves filter fine dust, odours and harmful gases such as nitrogen oxides, ozone, ammonia and sulphur dioxide.


© Ina Echternach, Sixth tree – Water reservoir: Tree roots hold rainwater in the soil. Up to 200 litres of water can accumulate under one square metre of forest soil. This is how trees can reduce floods and overflows


© Ina Echternach, Seventh tree – Restorer of health Trees have a positive influence on our psyche and health, which increases our resilience. Shinrin Yoku – “Consciously spending time in the forest to promote health” leads to a strengthening of our immune system. Stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline are lowered, as are high blood pressure and elevated insulin levels.


© Ina Echternach, Eighth tree – Witness to the past: Trees tell stories, at least to me. Have you ever sat down by an old tree, looked out into the landscape and imagined what this tree has already seen and experienced? Try it out and let this tree tell you all its wonderful stories!

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