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Nature & Technology: A Path To Visual Healing

We all know that spending more time in nature is a goal to which we should all aspire. The physical and mental health benefits are numerous and have been proven over and over again. But what can we do when we’re too busy in our day to day lives? By the time we’re done running to work, helping with homework, cooking dinner, doing errands, etc. – it’s dark outside, and we’re too tired to take a stroll outdoors!

For times like this, I believe in the power of Visual Healing which is why we’ve created our Moving Art Visual Healing program. Through my films that capture the miraculous beauty of our natural world, I hope to help people cultivate a sense of connection, peace, and love no matter where they are or how busy their lives may be. And now science is proving what we’ve already felt; spending time watching a beautiful nature film has the power to make us feel better.

In a recent study, researchers found that even looking at photos of nature in a quiet room had a greater cognitive boost than taking a walk outdoors down a busy urban street. Researchers also had participants take a break for 10 minutes in a quiet room to look at pictures of a nature scene or pictures of a city street. They found that cognitive performance improved after the nature break, even though it was only through pictures.  In 2013, scientists at the School of Biological Sciences at University of Essex wrote a paper called “Viewing Nature Scenes Positively Affects Recovery of Autonomic Function Following Acute-Mental Stress.”  Their findings indicate that people who saw scenes of nature after a stress induced event were more likely to see improvements in the recovery process than those who didn’t!

Moving Art’s Visual Healing is positioned at the intersection of technology, nature, and mindfulness with content that enhances the current meditation app model with an eyes-wide open approach. Our goal is to bring Visual Healing to people everywhere. By bringing my films to schools, hospitals, spas, work places, and other environments, we can work together to help people cultivate a love of our natural world and bring healing to people in need.

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The Power of Visual Healing

Did you know just looking at nature helps your brain function better? In this recent Washington Post article, we learn of yet another study that proves this is true. Researchers found that “interrupting a tedious, attention-demanding task with a 40-second “microbreak” — in which one simply looks at a computerized image of a green roof — improved focus as well as subsequent performance on the task.”

Not only can viewing nature improve our focus, reduce stress, and re-energize us, but it can also affect what type of decisions we make for the future of our planet. In one study, researchers found that subjects who viewed a 12-minute nature documentary before playing a game that involved managing a fishery resource engaged in more sustainable behavior.

Visual Healing by Moving Art is set to break the mold by bringing the power of nature seen through Louie Schwartzberg’s films to people everywhere. In addition to incorporating Visual Healing in spas and wellness centers, Visual Healing programs can bring healing to schools, hospitals, prisons, and even office buildings. The growth of research on the health advantages of being exposed to views of nature in urban settings is showing what many of us already innately knew:; nature is one of the best medicines we have.

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The Healing Power of Nature

When you’ve felt depressed or stressed out, have you ever decided to go for a walk among the trees or visit a beach to watch the waves roll in? How did you feel after you spent time in nature? Experience has shown us that nature is one of the best natural healers we have available to us. Now science is giving us proof of what we’ve already felt to be true.

In this paper from Susan E. Mazer, Ph.D., Dr. Mazer explores the use of nature in providing therapeutic benefits to patients in a hospital environment. She tells us that even Florence Nightingale herself said that patients needed fresh air and natural sunlight to facilitate their recovery and healing. But it’s not only in a hospital setting that nature can be used to heal. In this recent article from Huffington Post, we learn that new scientific research shows exposure to nature increases our overall well-being and may even be able to prevent us from getting sick. Going on a long walk and taking time to experience the awe of nature has shown that it can lower levels of cytokines; according to the article, “chronically high levels of cytokines have been linked to a number of health problems, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, depression and autoimmune conditions.”

Moving Art is fighting to increase awareness of both the mental and physical health benefits of nature. We hope to end Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD) and hope you’ll join us by spreading the word about the importance of nature. Together we can encourage everyone to take advantage of our most free and accessible medicine — our natural world.

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What Is Mindfulness?

Have you ever taken a walk and not noticed the beautiful flowers or trees that surround you? Have you ever left a meeting you attended without knowing what was said? Our lives are busy and full of distractions, so it’s not surprising to learn we have a hard time living fully in the present moment.

Cultivating mindfulness, as Jack Kornfield says in the video above, is a gift. It’s a gift we can give ourselves when we learn to live more fully in the reality of the present moment and learn to respond to life’s problems from our best intention. According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, mindfulness is “paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally, to the unfolding of experience moment to moment.”

Practicing mindfulness helps us cultivate clarity and can improve the quality of our lives. Mindfulness will not take away life’s stressful situations, but it helps us respond to these inevitable situations in a calm and less anxious manner.

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Congratulations #MyTimelapseFilm Winners!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our #MyTimelapseFilm contest! As the only filmmaker in the world who has been shooting timelapse films for over three decades, Louie is the Master of Timelapse telling stories that celebrate life and reveal the mysteries and wisdom of nature. In June, we asked you to pick up your camera or iPhone & share your timelapse film with Louie using #‎MyTimelapseFilm‬; we were looking for the next generation of timelapse cinematographers!

We had so many beautiful entries which made choosing just one winner impossible — that’s why we chose two! Congratulations to Chris Archer and Cynthia Fenimore for being selected as our #MyTimelapseFilm winners! Watch their timelapse films below & then find them on Instagram.

Still want to take a shot at making your own timelapse films? First check out our blog post with 5 Timelapse Film Tips from Louie Schwartzberg to get you started! For more inspiration, visit the Moving Art License Library to see more of Louie’s work.

(@Archer357 on Instagram)

(@Cinethia on Instagram)

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Magic Flowers: A Visual Healing Experience For Your Home

One of the benefits of summertime is that we’re able to spend more time outside in nature. The physical and mental health benefits of spending time in nature are numerous and have been proven over and over again. But what can we do when conditions force us to stay indoors? Whether it’s due to rain, heat, or because you’ve caught a summer cold, with our new app Magic Flowers, you can create a nature-based Visual Healing experience right in your home! Connect Magic Flowers for iOS to your Apple TV through AirPlay to bring the flowers to any large display creating a meditative, beautiful on-screen experience indoors.

Relax with the soothing ambient sounds of nature and the wonder of nature’s beauty unfolding on your TV screen. Visual Healing is an idea that seamlessly integrates our modern world and everyday habits by bringing nature and technology together to deliver positive physical, emotional, and psychological benefits. With Moving Art and Magic Flowers on AppleTV, create a nature-based meditative experience in your home where you can nurture these benefits and retreat when you need time to recharge and reconnect.

Download Magic Flowers for iOS & AppleTV: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id989975016?mt=12&ou=4

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The Beauty of Botanical Gardens

Have you ever visited a botanical garden? Botanical gardens are dedicated to the collection, cultivation, and display of a wide range of plants. In addition to being places of natural beauty and wonder, most botanical gardens provide information to visitors relating to the environmental issues we face today including plant conservation and sustainability.

This past year I’ve been honored to create two film shorts for Naples Botanical Garden in Naples, Florida to support their exhibits; Creatures Big and Small & Tropical Flowers. Incorporated in 1994, Naples Botanical Garden consists of 170 acres of cultivated gardens and preservation land, representing seven distinct natural habitats and ecosystems and featuring over 1000 species. NBG is a non-profit organization that brings much good to its local community – from extensive education programs for people of all ages and providing a wonderful venue for arts and culture to restoring habitats and engaging in valuable plant research. Moving forward, Moving Art will be continuing to partner with Naples Botanical Garden, and I hope if you’re ever in the area, you can pay them a visit.

Botanical gardens serve as stewards of the land and bring good to our culture. While the beauty and design of the gardens may be breath-taking, equally as beautiful and inspiring are the conservation principles they have incorporated. Scientists and the general public alike can learn much from a visit to the botanical gardens. Remember, I believe we protect what we love. When we visit a botanical garden, it’s an opportunity to fall in love all over again with the beauty of nature.

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Louie Speaks at UCLA

As a UCLA film school graduate, Louie was recently honored to deliver the commencement address to the class of 2015 at the UCLA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Watch his speech and remember: all the flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of today.


“I arrived as a freshman poli-sci/history major at UCLA in 1969. I was studying the French revolution in class while a revolution was occurring outside my classroom door.

So I got involved in the anti-war movement and started documenting police brutality on campus. There were no phone cameras back then, so my only recourse to fight back was to pick up a 35 mm still camera. The helmeted, club-swinging police swept the campus breaking up anti-war protests. I handed in photo essays for my political science classes, which was a lot easier for me than writing papers. And that is how I found my voice….photography and filmmaking hurtled me into a world of art and technology that I am still in love with today.

Filmmaking also introduced me to my greatest teacher. She taught me everything about the art of lighting, composition, movement, color and balance. She taught me how to live a creative and sustainable life. Who was this amazing teacher? Mother Nature.

Life is all about symbiotic relationships. Nature does not waste a single molecule, and never takes more than what she needs. A path we can all follow. “

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Happy Independence Day!

“Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.” –Dwight D. Eisenhower

Tomorrow is Independence Day in the United States, and we’re celebrating by giving away a FREE download of “America the Beautiful” on our products page! Enter the code AMERICA2015 at checkout now through Sunday to get your download .

This weekend as you are celebrating with friends and family, having barbecues, and watching fireworks, take time to reflect with gratitude for the people who have come before us and stood up for the cause of freedom. By honoring those who came before us, we can show gratitude for the present and commitment to the future.

Choose gratitude this 4th of July weekend, and let freedom ring. Happy Independence Day!

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Summer Solstice: The Longest Day of the Year

As a cinematographer, I have spent most of my life “chasing the light” all over the world. The Summer Solstice, which recently occurred, holds special meaning for me. It is the one day of the year when the sun shines the longest – which, for a filmmaker, is a gift when trying to get that last shot before the sun goes down. And truly, the last few moments of sunlight are the most magical.

The Summer Solstice occurs when the axis of the earth leans in closest to the sun. This event is revered by many cultures around the world with bonfires, music, parades, food, dancing, and fireworks – all in praise of the sun. Some even see it as a time to celebrate the light of consciousness within ourselves and upon the potential for consciousness to awaken.

It is also the official start of summer, so to celebrate, please enjoy a free download of my short film, Tropical Vibes, and start your summer off right — with your head in the clouds and your feet in the sand!