Where do you find your escape?
The Human-Nature project is in essence all about ‘escapism’ — escaping to nature for a wellbeing boost, whether that be physically through wellbeing activities, or virtually through our digital nature escapes.
Photography has always featured heavily in our digital e-book projects, which we’re hoping will eventually build into a comprehensive ‘free-to-read’ wellbeing resource. Through nature photography we’ve connected to more and more people as local contributors and met many new friends on-line on social media, who increasingly play an important part in helping us to create our wellbeing resources. By connecting in this way, through our shared love of nature and shared passion for photography, we’re hoping to continue what has been a successful approach to co-create digital places to escape to. These might be especially important for people who can’t readily access nature due to mobility issues, but are also be helpful for anyone who is under time pressures and can’t quickly or easily be physically present in nature.
Of course, photography itself can provide a form of escapism too. When I’m out on a walk with a camera, I often get lost and fully absorbed in the ‘looking’ and in the ‘seeing’ of what to capture through my camera lens. In many respects, it feels like the camera is a companion (or even a best friend) on the walk, who’s helping me to escape.
Reading for Wellbeing
Many people also like to use ‘words’ to find an escape — through reading, creative writing or poetry. Indeed, we’ve already touched on the value of words in previous e-book publications like ‘Poetry in Motion’. Our emerging wellbeing library intends to support those that love diving into a book as an escape and love to read for their own wellbeing. In fact there’s growing evidence for ‘reading for wellbeing’ as a wellbeing improvement tool, and perhaps this is not too surprising. People have always enjoyed getting lost in a good book, which help to transport them to far away places or different worlds.
Studies have shown that reading a little each day (even just several minutes) can improve your sleep quality, reduce your stress levels, and sharpen your mental acuity. Reading is also thought to strength the neural circuits and pathways within our brains, whilst lowering our heart rate and blood pressure. Similarly just experiencing nature through a scene or photo can have similar health improving and even healing effects.
So clearly both words and images are important in defining what gives us a ‘sense of escape’.
With this latest e-book project ‘Words Escape Me’, as well as photographic scenes which capture a sense of escape, we’re also interested in what words spring to mind. What words are evoked by those places, landscapes or views which we like to lose ourselves in. What words capture the ‘sense of escape’ that we actually ‘feel’ in our favourite nature places and landscapes?
Inside cover image from narrowboat porthole window by Kay Sumpner @NarrowboatOld
A Picture Paints a Thousand Words
They say a picture paints a thousand words, so through your pictures let’s share just a few of those thousand words. We’ll help by creating a word collage or word cloud to complement your picture. For each page contribution we’d also value a supplementary picture which perhaps helps to describe the ‘escape’ scene further, maybe from an alternative perspective. We’ll add the supplementary smaller photo to the credits page, which will appear opposite your main picture (see the examples below).
Feel free to post and share your ‘Words Escape Me’ scenes & words on Twitter or Instagram (using hashtag #WordsEscapeMe) and we’ll pick up our favourite ones for inclusion in the new e-book and re-share/retweet as many as we can.
The chapter themes are:
#EscapeRooms (rooms or hideaways with views)
#EscapeGardens (therapeutic garden spaces)
#EscapeRoutes (pathway, roadway or waterway routes to escape)
#EscapeHatches (door, window, or hatch openings which look out onto nature scenes)
#EscapePortals (glimpses of nature or landscape through holes, gaps or portals)
Also let us know the location and geographical area (county) where your images were taken.
We’d welcome submissions from previous contributors, as well as new ones too, from all parts of the UK (and potentially beyond!)
Example Page Contribution by @kendie
Example Page Contribution by @TraceyPike12
We hope to pull together photo and word contributions to complete this our second e-book of 2022, by the end of summer/early autumn. The finished e-book will appear alongside our previous titles in the ‘Virtual Nature Escapes’ section of our website.
Note: All photo and word contributions remain the copyright of the originator, but contributors grant their permission for inclusion in our e-books (or social media and website pages/posts) with appropriate credits to the originator. The e-books themselves as a an overall co-created collection of images and text, including formatting and layout design are copyright of Human-Nature Escapes CIC.