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Barry Lopez “Learning to See”

The article by Barry Lopez “Learning to See” is a masterpiece of the author’s feelings during his numerous trips into the wild. It is a valuable essay included in the collection “About This Life. ” Furthermore, it is a manifestation of sincere adornment by the nature on the whole and the author’s reasoning on it, in particular.

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In fact, the article was not that spontaneous for the author, because Barry Lopez got through a long process of reasoning on why people should learn to see the features of nature as being put in deeply in their minds.

The author makes emphasis on that the nature can be vividly recollected through positive vision. It is something to get through personal feelings, not just to take a photograph. Going over this thesis statement, Barry Lopez encourages a reader to get into the matter of his article. In fact, it is dedicated to an individual’s reasonable impression of any photo exhibition which once made the author reflect his own ideas on why people are apart from the gist of nature as such.

The author is highly motivated to answer the question of why personal reflections on what an individual can see is more precious than reflecting such episodes of nature or life events on a photograph. The author is at a dead-end when meditating between what he saw and what he wanted to write down to a notebook (Lopez, 2010). The question is that the wanderer and writer, Barry remarked a difference between what a painter or a photographer sees and what he/she draws thereafter. That is the conclusion which Barry Lopez comes to in his rumination on the value of the scenes around.

The reasons to state such a strong conclusion fall into the author’s personal meditation on what he once saw at Robert Adams’s exhibition “To Make It Home: Photographs of the American West, 1965-1985” performed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in June 1989 (Lopez, 2010). Looking at these photographs, Barry remembered eventually his trip to Arctic when he was as close to a polar bear as never before to fix all details of such an encounter (Lopez, About This Life, 1998). However, Barry provides some ambiguity in his assumptions.

Thus, after he has been closer to a polar bear, he admits that it is more convenient to fix details of nature in memories and on a sheet of paper than through photographs (Lopez, About This Life, 1998). In its turn Barry convinces then in the value of photography, as he is a photographer himself. Hence, there is a scope of values and assumptions represented in the author’s discussion. It is seen when Barry Lopez compares clarity of what is described on photographs and paintings with a spectacular story told to him in the childhood (Lopez, About This Life, 1998).

The aesthetical feature is amplified many times in Lopez’s meditation. As might be seen, Lopez’s discussion lacks more facts from the real life about how people described their feelings from what they saw. Conversely, Lopez focuses strictly on his own experience. It is possible to assume such reasonable conclusions, as: taking advantage of what memories give would complement the way photographers choose the right foreshortening in order to bring a numinous atmosphere of reality to viewers.

As for me, a value assumption on the Lopez’s essay is that it has many things to do with teaching people to nuzzle close to the nature every now and then so as to never lose this connection. The article’s argument could be exceeded by dint of what have the applied art and artistic thought at large achieved so far. Thus, the essay is of aesthetic and teaching value. Reference Lopez, B. (1998). About This Life. New York, NY: HarperCollins. Lopez, B. (2010, May 27). Learning to See. Retrieved June 6, 2010, from About This Life: http://www. barrylopez. com/_i_about_this_life__i__44670. htm