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Snowmass Mountain and Capitol Peak from Buckskin Pass, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, Colorado

Introduction

I think of landscape photography as the pursuit of visual “peak experiences.” I’m borrowing a term here from humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow, who studied human potential—the heights to which humans can aspire, not the depths to which they can sink. According to Maslow, peak experiences can give “a sense of the sacred, glimpsed in and through the particular instance of the momentary, the secular, the worldly.” Whoa! That sounds awfully pretentious. But when I think back on the most beautiful scenes I’ve ever witnessed, I understand ...

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