Opening Words from Sun. March 12 by Bradley Shutes

My name is Bradley Shutes, and I’m a new member of the Ethical Society. I decided to jump in head first and offer opening words so that we can get to know each other at an accelerated pace.

My opening words this morning are an abridged version. There is far too much to say about my passions to fit into a three minute slice of time.

Although I’m an engineer by trade, my passion is landscape and nature photography. The platform topic today is how art humanizes. As a humanist, I am aware of a conflict of sorts in that the art I create is an image which is purposefully absent of any evidence of human activity. Most people prefer images of an uncontaminated scene because we have an innermost desire to connect with nature. Indeed, I prefer my images to be devoid of buildings, roads, bridges, strip mines, oil pipelines, coal trains, and yes, even solar panels and wind turbines.

I share my experiences and my images with others for mutual enjoyment, but with an accompanying message that isn’t immediately obvious, but inherent within. I share my images with others to express my love for nature, and, hopefully, to inspire the viewer to love the nature I have recorded. I want my images to inspire those of us who live in concrete jungles to care about actual jungles.

The subject of my art is my also my home, your home, and your children’s and grandchildren’s home. It would sadden me to later discover that my images of beautiful landscapes have become a historical record of what was once in front of my lens.

My camera is merely the brush, striking an electronic canvas with tiny dots of red, blue and green. Nature is the true artist. But it is unaware of its own fragility, helpless and at our mercy.

I want mankind to show its love for future generations by preserving the subject of my art, vibrating with life, with all its brilliant color, where animals roam freely, loved and cherished by all.

NOTE: The ideas and opinions in this post do not necessarily express the thoughts or opinions of the Ethical Society of St. Louis or its leadership.