Posts tagged " nature "

Natural Limitations

December 25th, 2018 Posted by Thought Tools 1 comment

Here is a Thought Tool quiz:

Early in 1845, Henry David Thoreau, along with about twenty of his friends, began a two-and-a-half-year long party in a cabin on the shore of Walden Pond, near Concord Massachusetts.  True or False?

In 1971 Ted Kaczynski, his wife, six children, a nanny, a tutor, and three puppies moved to an isolated mountain cabin in Montana from where he later sent bombs through the mail injuring dozens of people and killing three. True or False?

Brilliant twentieth century photographer Ansel Adams, who specialized in capturing the glory of America’s national parks and other natural wonders, left a legacy of thousands of pictures depicting happy crowds enjoying their natural outdoor heritage. True or False?

With thirty members of his Rotary Club, Chris McCandless hiked into the Alaskan wilderness in 1992. After being awed by nature’s grandeur, he returned home to Virginia.  True or False?

Ready for the answers?  All four statements are false. (I am sure you hardly needed me to tell you that.)  Thoreau was alone at Walden Pond.  The Unabomber lived in lonely isolation for nearly thirty years.  It is difficult to find any Ansel Adams photographs containing even one human image.  In his book, “Into the Wild,” Jon Krakauer relates how McCandless hiked alone and died alone, tragically and unnecessarily. 

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Forests or Factories

August 29th, 2017 Posted by Thought Tools 24 comments

A while back I visited an exhibition of photographs by the renowned photographer, Ansel Adams.  I still struggle to properly compose a photograph and learned much from observing how Adams composed his pictures.  I observed something else too:  In this exhibition, not one Adams photograph depicted any man-made object.  I later discovered that he had photographed a freeway interchange, an old adobe ruin, and a few other man-made objects but they were few and far between.  It was clearly noticeable that Ansel Adams preferred to photograph nature untouched by man.

I believe that if I could travel back in time and stroll into the Tabernacle that Moses and Israel built in the desert, I would have made exactly the opposite observation.  Most of what I could see would be man-made.  For instance, even the ark of the covenant, though constructed of wood was to be entirely overlaid with gold.  (Exodus 25:10-11)  The natural wood was quite invisible.  Though wood may be shaped, planed and polished, it still resembles the tree from which it came.  Gold, however, is never seen at all were it not for man’s industriousness in mining it, refining it and shaping it.  Wherever one looked in the Tabernacle as well as in its successor, Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, the worshipper was surrounded by evidence of human creativity rather than nature.

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