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© Brad Mangas

Can nature photography promote health?

A question that is not only being studied today indicated by the upswing in EBD (Evidence Based Design) which states in part; The evidence is becoming clearer on the overall design of a health care facility involving many factors. From floor plans and layout to interior design including but not limited to the art which hangs on the walls. Gone are the days of new health care facilities being built that are stark, cold and uninviting. It seems common sense that a place for healing should encompass all factors of not only the patients well being but staff as well that make it their lives work.

Views which instill a pleasant thought or memories can be of utmost importance when one is faced with health issues. Studies have suggested from results that the most desired images in a health care setting are those of nature. Even children when asked about favorite pictures which they would like to see prefer pictures of nature. Not cartoons or fairy tales painted on the walls, but pictures of nature. Fields full of lush growth, trees full of life, flowers in bloom and so on. Think for a moment and put yourself in a child’s position as a patient in a hospital. You wake up in a hospital bed what would you prefer to see? A drawing of Peter Pan, Thomas the Train, Winnie the Pooh? Or a large color photograph of a summer oak tree in a field bursting with wildflowers. Fairy tales or real life beauty? Which would you choose to promote healing?

I have purposely spent time so far this spring photographing views which are more life giving and sharing. Lush healthy growth of nature. Relatable views one can understand and feel comfort with. At least that is my hope. My choice of nature isn’t that much different than most people’s I believe. I have not chosen to be a nature photographer because I see things others don’t. I chose to do this because I appreciate what I see so much I cannot help but photograph it and share it. Maybe the experiences I build help me to see things in an enlightening way, but non-the less we all enjoy and can find comfort in nature.

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