A Colonial Life

July 20, 2013  •  1 Comment

   One of my all-time favorite photographers is Wallace Nutting.  He may be considered 'old-fashioned' by today's standards, but I feel his photos are still very relevant today.  His photographs are a window to our disappearing landscapes.  Many of the beautiful scenes he captured 100+ years ago have been greatly altered or are unrecognizable today.  Which leaves me to ponder:  In another 100 years how many of the places that I've photographed will look the same?  Our landscapes are continuously changing as time marches forward and progress has its way.

    Wallace Nutting  witnessed and photographed an era that would soon rapidly change.  He got to visit the most untouched rural parts of the northeast.  It was a time when people still took to horse and buggy and lived almost like it was still the 18th or 19th century.  As the automobile became more common, people quickly mobilized out into the countryside.  Suburbs sprung up over orchards and farmland.  Forests were plowed over for commerce.  I don't think Wallace Nutting, in his wildest dreams, would have ever guessed what would happen to the countryside he so dearly loved.  He loved the beautiful, be it old home or landscape, and he wanted to see it preserved.  He wrote many books that strongly touted the values of truly seeing, living, and breathing in beauty.  He believed that if everyone consciously did this, then the world and our landscapes would be better for it. 

    I feel a kindred spirit in him that way.  Like him, I love old fashioned things.  I am in awe of old architecture and my heart breaks at the sight of farmland lost to development.  I wish that people could see beauty before they destroy it.  Alas, and with much regret, sometimes the only way we can preserve beauty is through the camera lens. 

    A lovely restored 18th century home with a big ole' chimney running up the center makes me swoon.  Old dilapidated houses make me wish I could save them!  I have the vision to still see their beauty.  I've dabbled in 18th century re-enacting.  I love the clothing from that time and will admit that I'm guilty of incorporating some of it into my 'normal' wardrobe.  What's not to love about a long skirt and a wide brimmed straw hat?  These are things that are beautiful to me, what's beautiful to you?

    For all of you reading this I say: Be inspired!  Go out and take in some beauty!  Is there a spot you pass by and say to yourself, "Someday I'll stop there and photograph that."?  I lovingly say to you: Stop procrastinating and get out there and do it!  You never know when things might suddenly change and that object/house/landscape is lost.  I can speak from experience as it's happened to me.  I procrastinated and now there are house lots sitting where beauty once was.  When you are out photographing beauty don't forget to appreciate it.  Get your shot and then take a moment to let the scene sink in.  You'll feel a wave of even more inspiration swoop down upon you. 

    I'll leave you with this quote from the man himself: "Responsiveness to beauty makes life new and full.....To see beauty is always a delight; but it is no joy at all unless it is seen." ~Wallace Nutting   

Guardian Statues

 

 

 



Comments

Kathryn Belanger(non-registered)
Wow, what beautiful and inspiring words. I looked up Wallace, and I just love his work. I too love the old and nostalgic scenes. Love those photos up above. Inspirational. ;)
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