About Healing Art

Eagle River, AK

Subject Matter:

When one peruses the literature regarding healing or restorative art, certain features and characteristics are commonly cited as especially effective elements. In particular, representational images featuring green landscapes, water scenes, hill and country scenes, sweeping views, coastal views, marshes and farmland, groves of trees, beautiful vistas, sunrises and sunsets have been shown to elicit rapid and significant recovery from stress. In fact, Barbara Lyons Stewart, a healthcare design psychology consultant, recently wrote that, "every evidence-based design study I've found has proven that only viewing representational landscape scenes measurably decreases heart rate, blood pressure, and pain while improving mood."[1]

Point Montara Lighthouse, Montara, CA


Beyond subject matter, a number of other components yield effective healing art, such as: immersion (a sense of immersion can come from the presence of strong foreground elements and wide fields of view); compatibility (a resonance between the natural setting and human inclinations); and extent (a sense of extent can come from scenes of distant wilderness, trails and paths leading to idyllic destinations, and a sense of being connected to a larger world).[2] Experts note that the primary criteria for restorative art is that we'd prefer to be inside those scenes. "The most fundamental feature of a restorative place is that people have to feel that they can move into those spaces and have a wonderful experience."[3]



At Bottled Light Productions, we employ an image-making methodology called "XYZ photography" which was developed by our founder, Daniel Ambrosi. Using a state-of-the-art, full-frame sensor digital camera, we shoot multiple overlapping views for each scene, both horizontally (X) and vertically (Y), and every time the shutter is pressed we capture multiple exposures "deep" (Z) from dark to light. Back in the studio, we then blend and stitch together dozens of individual photographs per scene using a custom software workflow that results in these ultra-high resolution uncannily immersive images.

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Our unique image-making methodology emerged from a multi-decade quest to create photo-based depictions of the world that better convey the feeling of a place and the way we really see it. Healthy human eyes see with a very wide field of view, sharp focus everywhere one looks, and the ability to perceive an amazing range of color and contrast. Traditional photography can be rather limiting in these regards, but Daniel's background in 3D graphics enabled him to find the optimal mix of camera equipment, software, and settings to bust through these limitations. This has resulted in an ever-growing portfolio of stunning and immersive healing art from which to choose for initial and subsequent (image refresh) purchases.

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The extraordinary level of detail contained within each of our images (up to 200x HDTV, 10-40x pro photography) enables us to achieve the sense of presence or "being there" that is so critical to healing art. By collecting a cubic array of high-resolution photographs and assembling them into a single "grand format" image, we deliver an uncannily immersive, museum-grade viewing experience; one that can be enjoyed from a distance as well as close-up. 

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Our Scenic Light Boxes vs. Traditional Healing Art:

Shown above is a depiction of the difference that our unique scene capture methodology makes: In the center is a single exposure shot in landscape mode with a full-frame sensor (24 megapixels) camera and a 35mm lens. The scene beneath it was shot with the same camera but consists of 30 exposures shot in portrait mode (5w x 2h x 3d). In this case, the resulting image is over 135 megapixels. In addition to the increased fidelity, note the enhanced immersiveness and vividness yielded by our XYZ photography technique. When these prints are backlit–as in our scenic light boxes–they truly appear to be windows into another world; instead of gazing upon a picture, it feels like you're gazing into a real scene. This degree of verisimilitude provides us the opportunity to bring to our viewers the pastoral beauty and restorative power of special places in the greater world.


[1] Stewart B. "Are we being too innovative when we select healthcare art?" Healthcare Design v. 11 no. 2 (February 2011).

[2] Hathorn K and Nanda U. "A Guide to Evidence-based Art." The Center for Health Design, 2008.

[3]  Augustin S. "Place Advantage: Applied Psychology for Interior Architecture." John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2009.

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