The Tao of Landscape

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Why Landscape Photography

Tao (image, sometimes transliterated “Dao”), is a philosophy with ancient roots that refers to the primordial essence of things, the natural order of existence, and the fundamental aspects of the universe. Traditionally, it is difficult to define Tao or to express it in words, but it is possible to know Tao, and to feel it—and, when the force is with one, to express Tao in art.

One kind of art that has traditionally concerned itself with Tao is Chinese landscape painting, which was often practiced as a spiritual exercise. Mountains and wild scenery were very important in these landscape paintings, and symbolized closeness to raw nature, as well as embodying a source of spiritual energy and life.

This mystical sense of being in-synch with nature is a vital part of what landscape photography means to me, and why this kind of photography is so important to me.

In a similar and related way, my trips to the wilderness have the same benefit. When I begin my journey into the wilderness, often trekking into an unfamiliar environment and encountering dangers that are very different from those found in a city, I am weary of the hypocrisy and excesses of so-called civilization. By the time I am leaving the wilderness, I am refreshed and renewed, with ...

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