“The Greatest Nature Essay Ever” and Lucy Goodhart, Photographer


I’ve been spending this first evening of the new year reading nature essays by the light of the Christmas tree as a blizzard brews outside. In the comments on “The Greatest Nature Essay Ever,” by Brian Doyle, in Orion Magazine, someone wrote, “Who made the b/w photographic image at the head of your column? When you wrote ‘image’ I thought you were referring to this epigraphic view, which is lovely but not forceful enough to do what your written image purported to accomplish.” I’m interested in the relationship between pictures and text and I thought the image did work. It’s true it’s restrained, not forceful, but the author does state in his definition of a great nature essay that “there’s no shouting, no persuasion, no eloquent pirouetting… no call to arms… [just] a feeling eerily like a warm hand brushed against your cheek, and you sit there, near tears, smiling, and then you stand up. Changed.” I looked up the photographer, Lucy Goodhart, and I think that describes her whole oeuvre, especially her Solstice Fire series. Lucy herself says that her “objectives lie strongly in the desire to capture the unseen, the overlooked and the fundamentally forgotten.” Have a look!


1 thought on ““The Greatest Nature Essay Ever” and Lucy Goodhart, Photographer”

  1. I like the photo, too. And her others. They are quiet photos; the Solstice ones are the quiet after the raging fire.
    The one of the noose, though – someone was planning an exit if they were caught in the fire, maybe?


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