Yugen Studio


Brief Bio

Thomas Kapper holds a doctorate that integrated aesthetics, economics, and environment from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is founder of the firm, Peregrine Aesthetics Group, which is concerned with the valuation of landscapes and real estate. His writing has appeared in Landscape Journal and Environmental Practice.

Dr. Kapper has pursued his interest in beauty into the field of photography. He began with an interest in landscapes but was soon drawn to the challenge of portraiture. He started Yugen Studio as a showcase for his work.

“For me, beauty is both an occupation and preoccupation. My fascination with the beauty of landscapes and architecture grew out of my academic training, but I have since discovered a much richer aesthetic in the creation of portraits.

“There is an interaction, a certain fusion, that occurs between the photographer, the camera, and the model. All are complicit in the act of creating beauty in the form of a photograph. In addition, the creative act is itself beautiful. When I am asked which I prefer, looking at a beautiful photograph or creating a beautiful photograph, I honestly don’t know how to answer.

“This “don’t know” is integral to the Zen I have practiced for the past dozen years. “Don’t know” is a setting aside of habit and preconception. Zen is right now, as is the snapping of the shutter. True Nature is there to be realized; we need only to continue dropping the veils. In photography, there is beauty inherent in the model; upaya, or skillful means, such as proper light, shadow, and composition are employed to uncover the beauty that is already there.”

On Beauty