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"I feel this unique emotion each time I watch the sun set over the Grand Canyon . . ."

Why are we so passionate about the beauty of nature? Why does a sunset trigger such a powerful emotion? And why do we turn to nature when we seek peace, quiet and time to figure out where we are in life and where to go from there?

After all, with all the technological advancements available to us, isn't it more exciting to stay home and enjoy the incredible level of sophistication that today's technology affords us? Shouldn't we look at nature with raised eyebrows for doing everything with only water, rocks, plants, wind and fire?

Nature's tools are as simple as we will ever find and yet as powerful as tools can ever be. Nature is the great teacher, showing us what can be done and what life is worth. Nature offers us beauty of such magnitude that we can only begin to ponder its complexity. That some of the mysteries of nature be revealed to us in our lifetime may be all we can ask, because such knowledge opens the doors to understanding beyond belief.

The Grand Canyon is perhaps the most famous natural wonder in the world. It is a place of solace and peace, a place where one can finally find time to sit down and reflect, freed for a moment from a hurried schedule.

But why the Grand Canyon? Why not another and just as remarkable natural wonder? After all, there are sites just as grand although far less well known.

Because here, better than anywhere, the earth opens up to reveal its most intricate wonders and its most secret places. Because immensity can be so vast as to challenge understanding. Because such vastness forces us to acknowledge how small we really are. And because the Grand Canyon exists in an entirely different reality than we do: what is to us a lifetime is nothing but an instant in the timescale of the giant chasm.

I have made it my life's work to represent the beauty of nature. It is my hope that, through these images, I can share some of this beauty with you.

Alain Briot
Canyon de Chelly, Arizona
April 2002