William Guion has photographed the land and trees of the South and West for more than 30 years. His black-and-white and colored landscape images are often described as spiritual, meditative, and reflective. This mirrors his long-time interest in meditative practices and his slow and contemplative approach to making photographic images. His current work is focused on the preservation and conservation of America’s national tree—the oak.
Guion is largely self-taught. He was introduced to photography as part of his journalisim studies in college and he pursued his training as student and assistant in various workshops hosted by the Friends of Photography in Carmel, CA. His early work was influenced by this West Coast, large-format approach to black-and-white photography and his preferred tools are still a 4”x5” view camera and film. His recent colored work is more abstract, influenced by the paintings of California impressionists of the early 1900s and the Hudson River School of the mid-19th century.
He has published three books of his photographs paired with spiritual and inspirational writings (Heartwood, Meditations on Southern Oaks in 1998, by Bulfinch/Little Brown; Heartwood, Further Meditations on Oaks in 2009; and Across Golden Hills, Meditations on California Oaks, in 2014, both by 100 Oaks Press) and he has recently completed a fourth book project with images of Historic Oaks, (Allee’, Historic Oak Alleys of Louisiana).
His images are contained in a variety of corporate and private collections across the country as well as the public collections of the Louisiana Folklife Museum, the Louisiana State Museum, and the New Orleans Museum of Art. His photographs have been used for several book jacket covers (for Simon and Schuster, Random House, Crown Books, W.W, Norton Books, Harper Collins and Warner Books) and in the feature film (The Wishing Tree starring Alfre Woodard, 1999).