Plenty of people paint or photograph nature. The world is full of beautiful things to see, and much of it occurs naturally. It comes as no surprise that many see nature as an inspiration and want to capture what could be a very brief moment of life. Most nature photography and art, however, capture a scene as it is, in its best light. Walter Mason, an artist from Germany, however, puts a spin on the traditional form. He considers himself a “land artist”, which is something a little more than mere photographer.
A land artist, according to Mason, works with nature. In his photos, he displays nature carefully, like an artist chosen to make a window display. Leaves, snow, dirt, flowers, and more are chosen and arranged carefully by Mason into photos so intriguing that they’ve quickly become a hit around the internet. His goal, however, is not purely aesthetic. He does not aim to romanticize nature or simply present it at its most beautiful, but he shows us what we have in it by altering it a little. Mason, who was once influenced by surrealism in his paintings, sees a similarity in his land art. Changing a part of what we look at--some small element--can change how we see it entirely. Nature, something we often take for granted, just happened to be his focus and inspiration.
As the year is coming to a close, magazines and sites are wrapping up with a celebration of the best 2011 had to offer. National Geographic, known for collecting the most rare and extraordinary shots of nature all over the world, has recently gathered together the best photos of the year all in one spot. Shots of people, places, and nature were carefully chosen by editors and viewers as the best of National Geographic’s photo contests this year.