Peter Lik: Is Tree Of Life Lik's Most Famous Photo?

Why is Peter Lik Famous?

Peter Lik (born: 1959) is an Australian fine art photographer who owns more than a dozen fine art landscape and nature photography galleries in the United States. Lik’s career originally began in Australia but has really made a name for himself here in the States according to sources including the New York Times. Some of his career highlights include having sold the world’s most expensive photo for $6.5 million according to Forbes.com (it should be noted this was an anonymous private sale announced by Lik's own PR team rather than through a public auction) and a short-lived TV show on the Weather Channel.

The Lone Cypress

"The Lone Cypress"

One of the most iconic trees in the world, The Lone Cypress, is popular attraction on 17 Mile Drive along the Monterey Bay coastline. The tree is held up by cables and has survived 200+ years of saltwater, wind and lightning along the rugged Monterey Bay shoreline.

The Lone Cypress was severely damaged by heavy storms in February 2019. One of the major tree limbs were lost in the destruction. My Lone Cypress photo was one of the last photos made of the iconic shape before the storm damage.

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Table of Contents

Hope Valley

"Hope Valley"

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Where Are Peter Lik Prints For Sale?

Lik Fine Art Galleries are currently located in the following cities according to their website.

  • Lik Gallery Aspen - Colorado
  • Lik Gallery Chicago - Illinois
  • Lik Gallery Dallas - Texas
  • Lik Gallery Hamptons - West Hampton, New York
  • Lik Gallery Waikiki - Honolulu / O'ahu, Hawaii
  • Lik Gallery Houston - Texas
  • Lik Gallery Key West - Florida
  • Lik Gallery Lahaina - Maui, Hawaii
  • Lik Gallery La Jolla - California
  • Lik Galleries Las Vegas - Nevada (Caesar's Palace & Forum Shops, Mandalay Bay, The Venetian)
  • Lik Gallery Miami - Florida
  • Lik Galleries New York City - New York (Madison Avenue, SoHo)
  • Lik Gallery Washington, D.C.
Family

"Family"

With my wife due with our son in a few months, this Yosemite trip was my last solo trip before becoming a father. In the morning on my way out of Yosemite Valley I noticed these three trees covered by a low layer of fog which helped to create contrast between the trees and dark background. A fitting way to foreshadow my future life.

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What Does Peter Lik Print On?

I’ve been to a number of Lik Galleries in the past including San Francisco (closed), Las Vegas, Waikiki, Lahaina and La Jolla. The presentation style is beautiful with modern gallery design and proper lighting for the artwork. I would compare the experience to shopping at RH aka. Restoration Hardware. I’ve also been given the dark room gallery lighting demo by their art consultants. It’s funny that I see people asking questions online about whether Lik's prints are somehow backlit. They’re not. I believe his original film-based photos were printed on Ilfochrome paper if I remember correctly. His current-day photos are most likely printed on professional-quality photo art paper such as Fujiflex and face-mounted onto acrylic. The last part of the equation that most people haven't installed at home is the track lighting up on the ceiling. Combine all of those factors within a room that has minimal ambient light and you too can create your own home gallery full of Peter Lik prints or Richard Wong prints. Without proper lighting and display conditions, the prints won’t have the same visual effect no matter how much you pay for the art.

Smugglers' Notch

Smugglers' Notch

Due to the signing of The Embargo Act of 1807 by President Thomas Jefferson, it was illegal to trade goods with Great Britain and Canada. Since Vermont was adjacent to Canada many people continued to smuggle goods and livestock over the present-day Smuggler's Notch. Fugitives used to run from the law by climbing over Smugglers' Notch and escaping to Canada. The Notch was also a hotbed of alcohol sales during the Prohibition Era with a vast quantity of liquor coming from neighboring Canada. Its safe to say that Smugglers' Notch has truly earned its' notorious name. As for myself? I smuggle fall color photos.

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Peter Lik Prices

With all of those galleries in affluent areas you might be wondering how much do Peter Lik prints cost? Peter Lik's print prices don't appear to be listed on their website and they weren't publicly listed when I recently visited the Venetian gallery in Las Vegas but according to sources like the New York Times article and Artnet it appears that most prints initially start off priced around $4,000 then consistently increase as the editions start to sell. When a piece reaches about 95% sold the price is at $17,500 then rapidly increases from there. Given that the NYT article is several years old at this point it wouldn't be surprising if the prices have since increased further. Then of course there are those handful of prints that Lik says have sold for more than $1 million. When it comes to buying art you shouldn't necessarily base your decisions on price, you should buy artwork because you connect with the work and the artist, but with a high price point it does limit who can afford the artwork. That's just basic economics.

Are Peter Lik Photos Valuable?

Whether Lik's photos are valuable or not depends on your definition of valuable. If you consider value to be akin to investing in the stock market then it's interesting to note that there are many of his prints for sale on the aftermarket on 3rd party sites like eBay, Invaluable and Art Brokerage for much lower prices than the original retail prices quoted above. Lik himself was quoted in the New York Times article as saying, “It’s like a Mercedes-Benz. You drive it off the lot, it loses half its value.” On the other hand, if your definition of valuable is defined by how artwork makes you feel emotionally then I would certainly hope that you've purchased a Peter Lik because you enjoy the art.

The Land of the Giants

"The Land of the Giants"

Giant Sequoia trees have long been thought of as the world's largest trees by volume. These big trees are neither the tallest nor have the widest circumference but their combined volume of height and width makes them the largest known trees in the world. Their close relatives, the coast redwood, are the world's tallest trees.

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Photographers Like Peter Lik

The Peter Lik style is defined by highly-saturated, wide-angle landscapes often photographed with a panoramic camera. With so much financial success one would think that Lik's photography is unique and significantly better in quality that any other photographer. The truth is that there are a number of photographers like Peter Lik and similar in style such as myself. Until recent years, nature photography was a relatively close knit community of like-minded outdoor enthusiasts and many of the locations that Lik sells in his galleries could be found in just about all of our photo collections. The difference is that Lik brought these locations to the general public via his galleries in high-tourist traffic locations. Nature photographers travel more and look at a lot more photos than the average art collector. What are recycled ideas to an experienced photographer can often times be the first time for a non-photographer. Business-savvy photographers recognize that and offer a healthy dose of these types of fine art prints for sale. I recall the first time I ever saw photos of Antelope Canyon and Mesa Arch was at the old Lik Gallery on San Francisco's Pier 39. I was relatively new to photography at the time around 2001-2002 so I wasn't aware of all the iconic locations. Later on I had found out that some of these photos were actually quite commonly found in other photographer's portfolios and that continues to this day.

Peter Lik's Famous Photos

Rarely does a day go by when I don’t hear Lik’s name mentioned by other photographers so out of curiosity I decided to do some online research to find out what are the top 10 most famous Peter Lik photos. Of course it’s impossible to really know his actual top 10 most famous photography prints unless the man himself discloses that but according to Google search volume data as of March 2019 this is what I found.

  1. Ghost – An Antelope Canyon photo with a beam of light highlighting the rising dust.
  2. Phantom – A black and white version of Ghost that allegedly sold for $6.5m. This is the world’s most expensive photography print ever sold.
  3. One – A water abstract photo. According to Lik.com this was Peter Lik’s first $1 million print sale. I believe this was a limited edition of 1 hence the name, One.
  4. Tree of Life – Portland Japanese Garden Maple Tree
  5. Beyond Paradise - a pier at Key West
  6. Bella Luna – This large moon photo has been a source of debate on photography sites
  7. Central Park – New York’s Central Park
  8. Rouge - aspen trees and fall color
  9. Endless Summer - under the pier at La Jolla
  10. Tree of Zen - Portland Japanese Garden Maple Tree

So is Tree of Life Peter Lik's most famous photo? No, but it is interesting to note that Tree of Life and Tree of Zen are of the same Japanese maple tree in Portland’s Japanese Garden. I’ve photographed the Portland Japanese Garden maple tree myself in 2012 and while it is an interesting looking tree, I feel like I’ve photographed more interesting trees in my career than that one. It didn’t occur to me until recently that it was so famous. So the question is, what are the world's finest fine art photography prints? I'll answer that question below.

Peter Lik Tree of Life & Tree of Zen Style Photo

"Japanese Garden Maple Tree" / Limited Edition of 25 Prints

One of the most popular trees in the United States, the Portland Japanese Garden Maple Tree has been delighting countless visitors for nearly 50 years. A lace-leaf maple, this Japanese maple tree is a showstopper for anyone who comes across this gorgeous specimen.

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What Are The World’s Finest Fine Art Photography Prints?

I’ve printed my photography on about a dozen different mediums and professional art papers over the years. I’ve been able to make gallery-quality prints from all of the papers but I do prefer some over others. Though I don’t think the average art buyer would really notice the difference between most of the photo papers to be honest. However, I’ve recently discovered a type of premium, luxury acrylic face mount called Lumachrome HD that totally blew my mind. Without getting too technical, Lumachrome HD acrylic prints are printed on an archival transparency infused with iridium particles (the rarest metal on Earth) that is sandwiched between a proprietary reflective white paper mounted on a thick Comatex backing and scratch-resistant, non-glare TruView acrylic which allows the light to be encapsulated within the four layers. This proprietary artisan process combines to create a sort of bioluminescent glow to the artwork with even the slightest bit of external lighting. If you like the "Peter Lik style backlit effect" then you should consider acquiring one of my Lumachrome prints as there is nothing else quite like this. My Lumachrome HD prints come with a hand-made Italian ROMA back mounted floating frame which make them ready-to-hang. In addition to presentation style, another advantage that Lumachrome HD prints have over Fujiflex is that Lumachrome is able to reproduce the entire red color gamut (think sunrises, sunsets and fall foliage). All Fuji papers struggle with red highlights as they often come out more maroon like than vibrant red.

Puddles

"Puddles"

"Puddles" was awarded with an honorable mention at the 2019 IPA Awards (International Photography Awards), the most prestigious award show in the photography industry.

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I was recently invited to talk about my work at a San Francisco Bay Area business event so I brought a Lumachrome print for show and the entire audience was amazed by the quality of my artwork. One of the people at the event coincidentally was actually the owner of a print lab. The print lab owner was amazed too and was very complimentary of my work while inquiring about the art production process. Peer validation really doesn’t get any more flattering than that.

Lumachrome HD Acrylic Print
Lumachrome HD Acrylic Print

If you want the finest art prints for sale today, then take a look at my landscape and nature photography galleries for inspiration. Since I don’t own high-overhead physical galleries in Las Vegas like Peter LIk, William Carr, etc..., I don't need to mark up my prices to the degree that most galleries do. You’ll have every bit the craftsmanship of the luxury art galleries with the finest in printmaking technology. I work with some of the best print labs in the world to bring my art to life. The value is in the craftsmanship and knowing that you would be working directly with me the artist, and not a salesperson.

About the Artist

Hi. My name is Richard Wong. Nature photography is more than just pretty pictures to me. Early on, photography became a creative outlet for me to express myself as I struggled to find my way in the world following college while also helping me to cope with my dad’s terminal illness. While my landscape and nature photography might sometimes look beautiful, it is rarely my intent to showcase beauty for beauty’s sake. Most of my favorite California and Canada photographs seek to relive specific memories and feelings from my youth. Most nature photographers pursue the art form on a superficial level purely for aesthetic reasons while I pursue the art for more personal reasons.

I've been a fine art landscape and nature photographer for 20 years with many publishing credits in most major publications. I offer museum-quality fine art landscape and nature photography including Lumachrome HD TruView acrylic face mounts and ChromaLuxe edge mount prints.

Limited Edition Prints

If exclusive collectible artwork is your priority, some of my top images have been designated as limited edition prints. My numbered limited edition photography prints are limited to no more than 25 prints and come with a hand-signed, hologram-affixed certificate of authenticity. Some photographers like Peter Lik offer limited edition prints that number in the hundreds or thousands. If you think about it, limited edition print numbers in that quantity are essentially no different from open edition prints. If there is a piece of art on my site that you want to own exclusively then let's talk to see if it's available. Make me an offer and you can be the only person to ever own that print. If limited edition prints are not a concern of yours then feel free to peruse the rest of my galleries and enjoy.

Chinese Garden

"Chinese Garden"

The newest garden at The Huntington Botanical Gardens, The Garden of Flowing Fragrance, is one of the largest Chinese gardens outside of of China

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Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions about my fine art photography prints

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