Tag Archives: Photography

The Nature Cure

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Screen-addicted Americans are more stressed out and distracted than ever. And nope, there’s no app for that. But there is a radically simple remedy: get outside whenever you can. And when you can’t, research has found, just looking at images of nature will help you to perform significantly better on cognitive tests and feel better.

In our December issue, Florence Williams travels to the deep woods of Japan, where researchers are backing up the surprising theory that nature can lower your blood pressure, fight off depression, beat back stress—and even prevent cancer.

The Outside RX: Temper Your Screen Time

What happens to a mind in constant motion? That’s a question we seem intent on answering, one laptop and DVR at a time. In a now famous, years-long study of employees at the Boston Consulting Group, led by Harvard Business School professor Leslie Perlow, 26 percent of participants admitted to sleeping with their smartphones within reach.

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The Outside RX: Get Dirty

As hunter-gatherers and then settled farmers, humans touched, breathed, swallowed, and co-evolved with a broad range of microbes, says Graham Rook, professor emeritus of medical microbiology at University College London. These bugs—from gut flora and probiotics to bacteria and parasites—came to play an important role in regulating our immune system. They became, Rook says, our “old friends.”

The Outside RX: Go Blue

Greening our lives is a good start, but we need to blue them, too. New research suggests that water may be a key element in the natural world for psychological well-being. When researchers in Exeter, England, showed a group of adults a series of 120 photos of urban and natural scenes both with water (rivers, lakes, oceans) and without, the subjects greatly preferred the images with water, even if those scenes also showed buildings and streets.

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The Outside RX: Train Naked

These days, it’s the rare outdoor athlete who isn’t plugged into something: heart-rate monitor, iPod, power meter, GPS unit…. The assumption is that these gadgets improve our performance or experience or both. But there’s good reason to question that.

The Outside RX: Find Your Rhythm

Human sleep-wake cycles are set mostly by the sun. Light levels filtered through the retina send messages to the pineal gland, which pumps out or dials back on melatonin, the hormone associated with sleep regulation. Without sufficient exposure, melatonin levels are disordered, and our body’s innate rhythms are thrown out of whack.

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The Outside RX: Take Five—Minutes or Days

Five minutes is all that’s required to achieve the minimum effective dose of nature immersion to raise your spirits. So says Jules Pretty, professor of environment and society at the University of Essex, who synthesized the results of nearly a dozen studies for a comprehensive 2010 review of nature’s effects on the body.

Free Medicine

In a 2011 study of 128 college runners, researchers found that “surrounding greenness” was an indicator of better athletic performance. Other studies have shown that exercising in nature results in less fatigue, reduced anxiety, less hostility, more positive thoughts, and an overall feeling of invigoration. Read more on how research supports the therapeutic benefits of playing outside.

Outside Magazine / Photo Gallery / Published: October 13, 2015

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Whale Whisperers

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Diving with a humpback whale and her newborn calf while they cruise around Roca Partida … in the Revillagigedo [Islands], Mexico. This is an outstanding and unique place full of pelagic life, so we need to accelerate the incorporation of the islands into UNESCO as [a] natural heritage site in order to increase the protection of the islands against the prevailing illegal fishing corporations and big-game fishing. -Photo and caption by Anuar Patjane Floriuk / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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Nepal Quake

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My heart is so heavy for this beautiful developing country. Please give anything you can. Help Nepal heal.

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Kathmandu: Before the Quake

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World Wildlife Day

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There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.

-Lord Byron

 

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This Pulsing Earth

The annual pulse of vegetation and ice. Brilliant.

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Real Life Mowgli

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Riding a five-ton elephant, whom she called ‘my brother’, chilling with a cheetah or hugging a giant bullfrog as if it were a Teddy bear. The childhood of a French girl Tippi Degre sounds more like a newer version of Mowgli, rather than something real. A white child, she was born in Namibia to French wildlife photographer parents, and grew up in Africa. Tippi spent her whole childhood playing with wild animals including lion cubs, a mongoose, a snake, a cheetah, baby zebra, giraffes and crocodiles.

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The little girl saw nothing unusual about her company: “I don’t have friends here. Because I never see children. So the animals are my friends,” she once said.

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Tippi is now 23 years old, and the only child to wildlife photographer parents Sylvie Robert and Alain Degre, who published her photos in a book called Tippi of Africa. “It was magical to be able to be free in this nature with this child. She was a very lucky little girl – she was born and raised until the age of 10 totally in the wild.” said Sylvie.

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Original post with more photos here.

I’ve always dreamed of life like this, and here it is – Tippi’s real life. Amazing.

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Where the Wild Things Are

by James Estrin

Charles Fréger was fascinated by what the human race lost over the millenniums when it evolved from hunter-gather to farmer and, eventually, urban dweller. After learning that there were Europeans who continued ancient pagan rites of celebrating the winter solstice and the beginning of spring, he set out to examine what traditions faded as people became more civilized.

In 2010, Mr. Fréger began to photograph the few small farming communities, in mountainous areas, that still follow the customs that for the most part were precursors to Christmas, New Year’s and Easter. He found that many dressed like animals.

“When I saw the costumes and spent time with these people,” he said, “I realized that I have always felt like a bear.”

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“These traditions come from Neolithic times — from shamanism — and they have never stopped,” said Mr. Fréger, 38. “For a few nights you can behave like a goat, drink a lot and forget about being civilized. You can be a wild animal for three days and then you go back to controlling your wildness.”

About 10,000 years ago, humans began domesticating wild animals for both food and companionship. Over the course of centuries, animal species were bred for traits that made them docile and more useful to their masters. But as humans changed and fenced in animals, they were also domesticating themselves. The skills needed to survive in the wild were different than those needed to succeed in more complex social arrangements.

Mr Fréger was intrigued by the transformations of human being to beast that he witnessed in 18 European countries. They were, he said, celebrations of fertility, life and death and symbolized the complicated relationship between mankind and nature.

His sculptural portraits are featured in the April issue of National Geographic and are collected in his book “Wilder Mann,” published in four languages including an English edition from Dewi Lewis. The work will also be exhibited simultaneously at the Yossi Milo Gallery, from April 11 to May 18, and at the Gallery at Hermès on Madison Avenue.

As strange and exotic as the costumes and traditions might seem, Mr. Fréger said, they felt somewhat natural for him. His father was a farmer, in the center of France, as were his grandfather and great-grandfather. Mr. Fréger grew up milking cows and studied agriculture in college intending to join the family farm.

“I learned to be a farmer before I went to art school,” he said. “I was not so different from the people I photographed.”

He chose photography over raising animals. Though his recent ancestors, as far as he knows, did not wear primitive costumes of wild animals, Mr. Fréger said, he has never felt domesticated.

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See the complete slideshow here. It’s a good amount of wild.

New York Times / Lens / Published: March 18, 2013

 

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