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July 20, 2022

Outdoor Photographer Talks About Getting Closer to Nature

In her words, being in nature has helped Alison Thomas “look at the big picture”… An apt expression, since Thomas spends her days outside taking pictures of some of the most beautiful outdoor vistas and getting closer to nature through this work. Thomas is an outdoor photographer, and her photography, which includes black and white and color images and panoramas, is inspired by her deep appreciation of the natural world. 

Thomas’ love and awareness of the natural environments around her began on one of the many trips she took with her father (who worked in the army) to South Korea. There she developed a new appreciation for nature, and she describes fostering an unprecedented awareness of the world around her. Now, years later, the images of the beautiful environments she witnessed remain ingrained in her memory, and help fuel her desire to discover new places as awe-inspiring as the ones from her past. As a high school student, she was a part of a group that was integral in protecting a local tract of wild space that was soon to be developed – the group of students forced the commission to put the issue to a vote, and the vote was in wildlife’s favor. Currently one of her favorite places to photograph is Great Falls Park, Virginia. 

In describing the power she believes art holds over humans, Thomas quotes another photographer, Clyde Butcher…“Wilderness to me is a spiritual necessity…when my son was killed by a drunk driver it was to the wilderness that I fled in hopes of regaining my serenity and equilibrium. The mysterious spiritual experiences of being close to nature helped restore my soul. It was during that time that I discovered the intimate beauty of the environment.” Similarly, Thomas finds that being in nature “brings peace” and a unique spiritual connection that she has not found elsewhere. She describes nature as centering one back to reality, and also notes its ability to help a person see beyond the trivialities of day to day life.

To see more of Alison’s work as an outdoor photographer and learn about getting closer to nature, you can visit her website Wild Virginia members will also get 10% off her work!