Amano’s view – Nature Aquarium World – “The Little Picture”

Editors of Aqua JournalEditors of Aqua Journal
This is the essay Takashi Amano wrote for his planted aquarium collection book Glass no Naka no Daishizen ( Nature Aquarium World ) published in 1992. It gives the opportunity to understand Amano’s unique views of nature and his experience.
The hobby I devote the most time to is photography, especially landscapes. I like taking landscape photos, and looking at other people’s works. There is a big stack of collections by my bed, and I open one almost every night. From Hokkaido in the north to the islands of Okinawa in the south, I have a photographic memory of most famous landscapes.

One thing I like about landscape photography is that photos are taken by local photographers who know the best season and time of day for shooting. Sometimes I visit a place where the landscape is so interior to the photograph that inspired me to go there that I wonder if I’m in the right place. So I usually stay home with the photographic collections.
I also think it’s interesting to compare different photographer’s shots of the same landscape. Their view points are always different. But shots by amateurs of the same place always look the same.
Now I like to take shots of isolated sections of nature, even different parts of the same landscape. A single lily on a cliff, or some unknown flower blooming by the roadside. I especially like sections of grass patches. There are all kinds of grass patches, from lush, wetland patches to patches of weeds in city lots. If you observe these closely, you realize that although they look messy and haphazard, the growth is actually very orderly and flowers certain rules.

Sometimes you have to look at the little picture in order to better understand the big picture.