Gary Snyder– poet, essayist, environmentalist (c) Nathan Wirth



The camera is a strange medium. To the uninitiated, it is like a substitute eye, an eye that fixes and documents what the ordinary eye sees. In the hands of an artist like Nathan Wirth, however, it becomes a very different kind of eye, an eye that the great Zen Master Dogen (1200-1253) called the “true dharma eye.” Dogen taught us to “pluck out the Dharma eye” and to sit in it and to see through it as it reveals the mountains, rivers and the great earth. These extraordinary images are meditations in the best sense of the word: exercises in the suchness of the world, its everyday miracles and marvelous depth. In a single image the artist captures the great earth as if, Dogen says, “in a single gulp,” such that “not one inch of soil is left out.” These images see in such a way that they teach us about the way or Dao of seeing as such.”

Jason Wirth — Professor of Philosophy, Film Studies,
and Asian Studies, Seattle University


Suppose Coleridge or John Clare was transported from his time and countryside to ours and California hills and beaches. What would he see? Not the place of posters and popular myths but one of vision, like Nathan Wirth’s: the light coldly luminous and charged, stark rocks and trees lit from within, horizons blurred into union with ocean and sky, a solitary man staring to see beyond what is visible.”

Peter Weltner — Author of The Outerlands and To the Final Cinder


Photographs rely on visual effects: composition, the play of shapes against one another, contrasts of light and shadow. But to think about a Nathan Wirth photograph solely in that way is to fall short of the experience. There is an overwhelming feeling that something besides the artist has been responsible for the image, that light has truly written itself into being, and all our best attention is drawn toward reading what it has to say.”

Sam & Sally Green, Waldron Island, WA — Poets and
Artisans & Producers of Brooding Heron Press


“Alone—all alone—at the end of a pier surrounded by rocks; alone at the glassy edge of the momentarily seized silence of terrifying beauty is where Nathan Wirth stands. The place where sky and earth meet; where water and land touch; where rocks emerge from the great earth; the place where sea mist becomes fire and smoke becomes clouds—the place where yin and yang meet in their emptiness. In this middle of infinitely deep reality the slowness of Nathan Wirth’s elongated shutter speed discloses the nearness we wish to enter. By capturing time’s flow in its stillness is the porthole into that nearness. At first, the terrifying beauty of all that is presents itself in these extraordinary photographs, but more time with them brings us closer to an exquisite affirmation of seeing them with a truer eye. Nathan Wirth’s photographs are diamonds cutting through illusion, exposing the sheer beauty of life’s flow.”

David Jones — Professor of Philosophy, Kennesaw State University
and Editor of Comparative & Continental Philosophy


Nathan Wirth’s photographs disclose the shining silence of the world as form and emptiness, being and void, timeless and all manners of time: beauty and sublimity all at once. His photographic aesthetic is at the cutting edge of the contemporary spiritual arts, attuning us to what is always already the case.”

Dr. Michael Schwartz — Professor of History and
Philosophy of Art, Augusta State University


The first time I encountered Nathan Wirth’s work, his images stopped me in my tracks and I had to know who the photographer was. This fortunate discovery led me to experience more of his work which I find absolutely moving– as if the images tell me things about myself which I am not able to put into words.”

David Braid — Juno Award winning jazz pianist

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