As a professional photographer who is passionate about art, vision, and beauty, I always make time to discover, contemplate and treasure great works of art. What is even more inspiring is to see such achievements in person, as I got to do last week on vacation in Pennsylvania. That work of art was Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater: a magnificent home built on top of a waterfall in Southern Pennsylvania.

Equally inspirational is a quote from my favorite novel, The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand. Ayn Rand’s description of the work of her book’s hero Howard Roark captures perfectly the essence of Fallingwater:

“They were sketches of buildings such as had never stood on the face of the earth. They were as the first houses built by the first man born, who had never heard of others building before him. There was nothing to be said of them, except that each structure was inevitably what it had to be. It was not as if the draftsman had sat over them, pondering laboriously, piecing together doors, windows and columns, as his whim dictated and as the books prescribed. It was as if the buildings had sprung from the earth and from some living force, complete, unalterably right. The hand that had made the sharp pencil lines still had much to learn. But not a line seemed superfluous, not a needed plane was missing. The structures were austere and simple, until one looked at them and realized what work, what complexity of method, what tension of thought had achieved the simplicity. No laws had dictated a single detail. The buildings were not Classical, they were not Gothic, they were not Renaissance. They were only Howard Roark.”

Fallingwater is only Frank Lloyd Wright.

If great architecture inspires you, see Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous work, and if you want to be inspired by great literature go read The Fountainhead. That book has aided my photography, in general, more than any other; it is one of the great works of literature: one to read, contemplate and also treasure.