Nature, it’s grand, it’s beautiful, it’s colorful and it’s part of us. It can be inspiring, spiritual, emotional, soothing and rejuvenating. Have you ever noticed that when you are outdoors things just seem to go smoother? Have you ever felt a sense of peace while walking through a natural area or sitting at a picnic bench in the park? Most of us do. In fact, most of us need that connection with nature in our lives to feel balanced. With urbanization growing, demanding jobs, small offices, few windows, longer work day, technology, etc.… we are losing that natural connection. All of these reasons increase our daily stress and anxiety levels. This increase in stress and anxiety also affects our children. As we adults become more burdened with time and we continue to expand our urban areas, more and more children will grow up with little contact with nature; some may never experience the glory of true wilderness.
Counteracting the lack of nature
Researchers at the University of Illinois conducted several studies on our connection to nature and found that people who endured trauma and stayed in the hospital healed faster when they were shown photographs of natural landscapes. Why is this? Designing with elements such as nature photography or painted scenes allows the viewer of the photograph or artwork to connect with the details of the natural elements. Those details could include color, shapes, patterns, or vast open spaces that provide us with an array of positive emotions; thus releasing “feel good” chemicals in our brains. When we are less stressed our bodies have the ability to focus on the more important aspects such as healing a wound. In the work and living environments, indoor spaces, adding natural elements or visuals of natural elements not only look pretty but they also inspire creativity and production.
Honestly, there is no substitute for the real thing. Experiencing nature isn’t just a visual experience; it’s a full body experience. In nature there are sights, sounds, smells and textures that all contribute to our connection to nature. However, it’s still important to consider the implications of losing experiences with natural elements and scenery, as well as finding ways to correct or balance this in our lives. One way to counterbalance the lack of nature is to pull it into our interior spaces. More and more hospital settings, corporate offices, and other types of business are learning the power of nature. They have begun designing both public and staffing areas with more natural art; art such as Nature and Landscape Photography. The healthcare industry is where you will find it most apparent, it’s called Evidence Based Design. In simple terms, EBD is interior design with much more appealing and natural visuals and elements. EBD can be on a grand scale and incorporate textures, visuals and sometime sounds into an area; such as a plaza or lobby with natural colors, trees, stone waterfalls, and flowers. But it can also be done on smaller budgets as well. Other facilities and interior designers have built wall murals or hang art work of painted or photographed natural scenes. All of these examples have improved not only the look of the facility but also the feel for everyone who walks through the doors.
Nothing will ever replace the full emotional impact that nature has on our lives and most of us won’t be able to quit our jobs because of the lack of outdoor time but there are steps that can be taken to help improve the quality of your living and work spaces. We hope the next time you decide to redecorate your interior spaces you will consider adding more natural visuals such as landscape and nature photography; it’s beautifully inspiring.
Leave us some feedback below on how your experiences in nature influence your mood or let us know how viewing nature and landscape photography changes your perspective.
About the Author and Photographer:
Melissa Fague is an emerging nature and landscape photographer from Bear, Delaware USA. In just a few short years her work has been published over two dozen times and she has won multiple national and international awards for her beautiful photographs. Her most recent accomplishment is her first published photograph in an international publication with a worldwide distribution, “Landscape Photography Magazine”. Melissa is passionate about the art of photography and nature. Exploring areas and creating photographs is her form of stress relief and art therapy, but she also loves to share her visions so that others can enjoy. Her goal is to one day be ranked among the most famous nature photographers in the world. All of Melissa’s nature and landscape photographs are available for purchase, visit Pi Photography and Fine Art.