January 16, 2015

Friday Round Up - 16 January, 2015

Welcome to the first edition of Friday Round Up for 2015. This week in celebration of the launch of #everydayclimatechange, we look back at some of the stories published on Photojournalism Now in 2014 with environmental themes.

(C) Edward Burtynsky

(C) Paul Blackmore

(C) Sean Gallagher

(C) Katie Orlinsky

#everydayclimatechange on Instagram

#everydayclimatechange launched on 1st January, 2015 and the concept has quickly attracted a diverse group of photographers from around the world who are committed to sharing "visual evidence" that climate change is real.  

Founder of #everydayclimatechange, Tokyo-based photographer James Whitlow Delano, says the idea for the hashtag was borne from a conversation he held with Peter DiCampo, co-founder of Everydayafrica. The "everyday" concept has proved popular and there are now various #everyday where photographers upload uniquely local imagery. 

The creation of an environmental "everyday" seems a logical step in building on this proven platform as does Delano's involvement, which stems from his long term commitment to document natural disasters. 

It's a fantastic initiative and it's exciting to see how many photographers have come on board so quickly. Seeing is believing, and these photographs provide proof that our climate is shifting. This is where social media platforms come into their own in reaching potentially millions of viewers. The more people who "follow" #everydayclimatechange the greater the likelihood that perceptions will change. 

2014 In Review - The Environment

James Whitlow Delano - Black Tsunami

Last year Photojournalism Now reviewed Delano's book, Black Tsunami. Published by FotoEvidence Black Tsunami features 91 black and white photographs that capture the apocalyptic scenes that were left in the tsunami’s wake. Divided into four parts Black Tsunami charts Delano’s coverage of the disaster over what he describes as an “intense 18 months”. After the initial trip to Iwate Prefecture Delano returned to Tokyo. Soon the damage to the Fukushima nuclear plant and its consequences for the country as a whole began to overshadow the devastation of the tsunami. It was at that point the story shifted for Delano from recovery to nuclear disaster....(you can read the full interview on the book review tab at the top of this blog). To see more of James' work you can visit his website here.

Simon Harsent – Melt: Portrait of an Iceberg

Photographer Simon Harsent says the underlying theme that resonates throughout his personal work “are the paths we choose in life”. It is this proposition that has influenced his series on icebergs, Melt: Portrait of an Iceberg. While the literal translation can be seen in the pathways these frozen behemoths follow in their physical journey, allegorically it can also be applied to the environmental choices that the human race has taken.

In Melt Harsent captures these glacial giants as they journey down “iceberg alley” from the Ilulissat Icefjord to Greenland’s Disco Bay and onto the east coast of Newfoundland. These icebergs can take years to make a journey that transforms these giants as they are reclaimed by the ocean. (Click here for full story and more images)

This series, which is also a book, will be on show from 27 January to 15 February in Sydney at Blackeye Gallery.

Ed Burtynsky - Water

Undoubtedly one of the most respected landscape photographers working today, Edward Burtynsky’s body of work titled ‘Water’ builds on his already impressive oeuvre and is nothing short of breathtaking. Burtynsky’s approach to the landscape is driven by his desire to capture humankind’s relationship to nature and how this is expressed in the industrialised landscape. Published by Steidl.

Paul Blackmore - At Water’s Edge

Australian photographer Paul Blackmore's book, At Water's Edge, tells the story of our relationship with water. From the vastness of the Pacific Ocean to the toxic black waters of the Buriganga River in Bangladesh; from the voodoo pilgrimage in Haiti, to the holidaymakers bobbing in the Black Sea; from the water pipes that carry fresh water to Mumbai’s elite to the squalid lives of refugees in Ethiopia, “At Water’s Edge” reminds us that no matter our race, gender or the size of our bank account, we all rely on fresh water for our very survival. It is a precious commodity and yet the devastation of our fresh waterways and oceans continues apace. While Blackmore’s photographs are in part celebratory, they also serve as a warning. Published by T&G Publishing, Sydney

Chris Jordan - Intolerable Beauty

American photographer Chris Jordan's series "Intolerable Beauty: Portraits of American Mass Consumption" is fascinating and terrifying at the same time. The rampant consumption of the West, which countries like China and India want to emulate, has resulted in masses of waste that threaten to choke the planet. Jordan's photographs are interesting compositions, almost abstract at times, yet the message is clear. To see more of Chris' work visit his site here

Sean Gallagher - The Toxic Price of Leather

Photographer Sean Gallagher's photo essay, and short film “The Toxic Price of Leather” is a powerful study of the shocking impact of India’s leather industry on both human beings and the environment. In my opinion Gallagher is one of the most insightful documentary photographers working today and his images continually bring to light issues that should concern all who are interested in caring for others and for the planet. In this series Gallagher documents the lives of those working and living in Kanpur, India. Here there are around 300 tanneries, with Kanpur now the largest exporter of leather in India. Ninety percent of its products are produced for Europe and the United States.

The environmental impact of the tanneries on the local area, and the Ganges River, is significant as is the toll on the health of both tannery workers and local residents. Once again the West is procuring goods at ridiculously low prices ignoring the fact that their practices are in fact exacting the highest price of all.

To see more of this work and other environmental projects visit Sean Gallagher’s website here and follow #everydayclimatechange to see Sean's posts.

Daniel Beltrá - SPILL

SPILL documents the disastrous Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 when more than 210 million gallons of crude oil were released into the ocean devastating an area of more than 68,000 square miles. This spill was one of the most catastrophic environmental disasters of all time.

Beltrá’s aerial photographs may appear as abstract art, and are undoubtedly visually stunning, but the truth behind these images which capture the monumental scale of this disaster should not be forgotten. Published by Gost Books.

Murray Fredericks - Topophilia

Shot over a three-year period from 2010-2013, in Topophilia Australian landscape photographer Murray Fredericks builds on his earlier work, the multi-award winning series Salt shot in Australia’s Lake Eyre. In both series Fredericks uses featureless, flat and seemingly infinite landscapes to echo the vastness of space where time is frozen and voids open like the maw of a yawning giant. In Fredericks’ eye the landscape is the vehicle, which conveys a greater story that transcends the physical form.

Fredericks spends weeks at a time alone in these vast expanses and it is in isolation that he creates his large-scale works that are nothing short of breathtaking. To see more of his work visit his website here.

Alex Masi - Bhopal Second Disaster

UK photographer Alex Masi's book Bhopal Second Disaster documents the plight of more than 30,000 people who live in colonies that are still affected by the toxic waste from the catastrophic industrial accident at Union Carbide’s Bhopal chemical plant in 1984. This waste that has never been cleaned up and continues to pollute underground water reserves. Birth defects, neurological illnesses and other severe health issues burden a people that have largely been ignored by the outside world. Published by Fotoevidence.

Katie Orlinksy - Bear Town

American photojournalist Katie Orlinsky's photo essay for Al Jazeera America shows the impact of climate change on the Arctic's wildlife. In the Alaskan town of Kaktovik, polar bears are seen frequently scavenging for food as the ice recedes, and armed residents are joining the polar bear patrol to keep locals safe. The proliferation of polar bears is also becoming a tourist attraction. To see more of Katie’s work visit her website here.

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