I read a post recently that’s been on my mind every since. Provided on Art Wolfe’s blog, guest columnist Guy Tal writes “In Praise of the Intimate Landscape“. There are so many articles I have read from Guy that are to the point and stated with words that one can almost feel the emotional connect to the subject. There are a handful of professional nature photographers who’s works will be looked upon for generations with admiration for abilities in their craft, Art Wolfe and Guy Tal are 2 such people.

© Brad Mangas

The article hit home with me on many levels. I can relate to the intimacy of our lands. It is that closeness that seems to draw me back out to nature time and again. The grand views are wonderful, mountains, prairies, deserts and oceans. Not until you are able to become intimate with a subject does it have an impact on an personal level.

I find myself more often than not reaching for such tools that brings focus to the individual elements that make up the beauty of our lands even when standing in the vast open rolling flint hills and prairies. Scenic views from horizon to horizon fill the vastness of earths space. But I’m drawn to a personal desire to understand more of the individual parts that make up such grand beauty.

© Brad Mangas

The task of just looking closer at a subject seems no difficult feat. Concentration on a specific subject requires little more than patience. Intimate landscape goes beyond looking closer or concentration upon a subject. It’s as if the intimate view becomes a world of it’s own, with a past, present and future hidden like a jewel only revealing it’s secret when specific time and conditions are met. It’s only then can one begin to understand the importance of the intimate landscape.

Colors from soft to bold become one with lines and forms connecting the intimate scene like a spider spinning it’s web. All elements have their place. Such scenes exist virtually everywhere but go unnoticed by most. They don’t shout out like the alpine glow of a mountain range or the setting sun over the seas. Quietly they provide beauty as they have done since the beginning of time.

As words describing the intimate landscape roll from my thoughts to now this text I contemplate my understanding of why these views and desire to capture such images move my innersole to such a degree.  Could it be the best of life are those things that are least understood? A desire to understand the world as I see it knowing my time is limited in which I will be able to do this must play a part. Or could it be as the magic of a smile, a simple thing that holds such power one cannot begin to describe.

© Brad Mangas

A search, an understanding of that which provides life as we know it. That alone raises questions of what do we really know about life. Our time as a living breathing being is but a drop of dew on a single blade of grass growing on the worlds prairies. Will it remain as our eyes have seen it after we are gone? Nature that touches the essence of our lives in all it’s simple yet so little known forms  must be worth the moments we allow ourselves to experience it.

With my meager attempt to explain or understand the intimate landscape I have no choice but to continue the search.