Healing Images: In discouraging times, let us present some sights for sore eyes, taken from Atlantic-published books
The most viewed photograph in history is called “Bliss.” It’s the monitor wallpaper that comes with Windows XP. The photographer, Charles O’Rear, described his work as a “mental escape” for viewers.
Pictures of nature have that power. Numerous university and hospital studies dating back some 30 years have shown that patients exposed to nature scenes display less anxiety and need fewer painkillers during recovery.
In the book business, publicists often seek the bliss shot, someone enjoying a good book in a cozy-looking and well-lit place. Bright colours help. Sometimes a few brushfuls of paint can be expertly spread to create powerful and uplifting symbolism, as we see with Julie Pellesier-Lush’s images here.
And these days, the sight of someone in personal protective equipment preparing a syringe can be a great reliever of anxiety, a source of hope—the potential reunion with loved ones and the broader community.