on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Beauty out of the fragments of life

Embracing a difference approach

Paulo Valdivia

I’m a Chilean amateur photographer of and about nature, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Married for almost a year, and currently finishing my PhD studies. Being greatly influenced by my father (a creative-surrealistic nature photographer) and by my childhood experiences living in a National Park in southern Chile, I decided to engage in making images more seriously after finishing university, when I was able to afford my own camera. I believe in the beauty and power of combining images and storytelling.



It has never been easy to understand and define “beauty”. Throughout history Philosophy, Art and Aesthetics have provided to us with multiple understandings of the term. Beauty is inherently perceptual, complex and subjective by nature. Out the wide of range of definitions I quite like one from the philosopher George Santayana for its simplicity, in which he emphasizes that “beauty, is not a perception of a matter of fact; it is an emotion; an affection of our volitional and appreciative nature”. Although the intent of this essay lies far from engaging in a dense philosophical and semantical discussion on the concept of beauty in art, I introduced the above definition as a way to connect with the essence of this essay. Thus, in the following paragraphs, I will try to explain and share my learning experience of embracing a different (and difficult) approach to nature/landscape photography: to evaluate whether I can emotionally connect with “green” urban or semi-urban spaces and make images that can reflect that experience. Furthermore, the idea of this essay is to encourage the community of OnLandscape to share their own experiences or unique visions on this topic.

[my father] would say: “no matter where you are, or how hideous a place may be, make sure you try to appreciate the hidden beauty around you, using your intuition and heart”.
In my teenage years, 



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