Project Description

To See: A Photographic Essay Based on the Writings of Thoreau

Photographs by Helen Buttfield / Edited by Richard Lewis

Touchstone Center Publications, 2014

Buttfield_cover_June2014_webAs we enter a new century of dramatic changes in our ways of seeing and perceiving, the publication of To See offers an opportunity for readers to revisit the deeply poetic and profound insights that Thoreau, nearly a century and a half ago, experienced and wrote about the natural world. The haunting and evocative black and white photographs of Helen Buttfield, who, with great artistry and sensitivity brought together her own understanding and images of the natural world with those of Thoreau, are an inspiration for each of us to see what is always there—and somehow and always, beyond.


To See: A Photographic Essay Based on the Writings of Thoreau
ISBN: 978-1-929299-10-2
104 pages, paperbound $20.00

Like Thoreau, Helen Buttfield’s photographs allow us to become lost in the world, in order to find ourselves. Through her photographs, she explores the depths of a forest floor illuminating its ferns and lichens. At the water’s edge, she catches the magical gleam of a frog’s eye. In treetops, she discovers the shimmering of a single bird’s wing. Everywhere, animals and insects are her reliable and intelligent companions. And like Thoreau, she is telling us to see – in order that we might, once again, be fully participating in this, our earth’s ‘flowery revolution’.Terri Tibbatts, Book Artist