Nature’s Images for a Balanced Spirit

This afternoon I was outside doing some painting on the house and listening to NPR when SOUNDPRINT came on. As the wind rustled the leaves of the trees around me and the Scrub Jay’s squawking resonated from across the cul-du-sac, a program about The Urban Forest Healing Center started playing.

This program (which I recommend listening to…especially if you live in an urban environment) was talking about the healing powers of spending time in nature. How philosophers have been saying this for generations and now there are some scientific studies out that say the same thing. How spending time in a natural setting (even if just a park or tree lined street) helps restore concentration and a sense of well being.

Personally, I didn’t need a scientific study to tell me this. This is the cornerstone of my personal “Zen and Art of Landscape Photography” theory.

But this got me to thinking about all of us photographers out there who sell landscape or nature photography as art or fine art. What a great selling point. “Studies have show that having one of my works in your office will help you restore you sanity during a hectic work day!”.

It also got me to thinking about a topic that Brooks Jensen has mentioned numerous times on his pod casts and in LensWork, that we don’t take the time to enjoy and appreciate photography or imagery in today’s world. We are bombarded by a rush of images and have this obsessive compulsive nature to view as many images as we can without really viewing them. When was the last time you spent more than 30 seconds taking in a photograph? More than a minute?

I had a momentary thought run through my head that maybe people who were listening to this radio program might appreciate a beautiful photograph of a nature hanging where they could stare into it for a few moments and recharge their batteries or bring some measure of calm to their world. Realizing that doing so might be a healthy thing for them. Might increase the general populace’s appreciation for the work of photographers.

Then the obsessive compulsive brushed buy the hanging photo disrupting the viewing situation in my head. To rushed to take in the surroundings.

(BTW: Art prints of all my travel and landscape photography are available at my website. And studies have shown…)

One thought

  1. I have sold a few images to hospitals and mental health facilities – so I hope those images are providing a benefit to many. I have also seen some hospitals where they place backlit photographs on the ceiling for people to stare at while lying in bed. I think that is a really cool idea.

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