Our surroundings shape our thoughts and our place in the world affects us.
Images in this category combine unique perspectives from photographers from different parts of the world and hitherto untold tales about the power of a special location.
Featured image: Big Blue Berg by Sue Flood (2018)
Coffee Shop, Abkhazia (2019), Hotel, Portugal (2019), Swimming Pool, Italy (2019) & Theater, Abkhazia (2019)
Jonk is a freelance self-taught photographer whose work focusses on humans and their relationship with nature. His images are taken to raise awareness of the ecological crisis facing humanity. Fascinated by abandoned places reclaimed by nature, in 2018 he published Naturalia: A Chronicle of Contemporary Ruins which asks the fundamental question: What is the place of humans on Earth and their relationship with nature?
Far from being pessimistic, and at a time when human domination of nature has never been so extreme, these images aim to awaken our ecological consciousness. Nature is stronger, so whatever happens to humans, nature will always be there.
Coffee Shop, Abkhazia by Jonk (2019)
Hotel, Portugal by Jonk (2019)
Swimming Pool, Italy by Jonk (2019)
Theater, Abkhazia by Jonk (2019)
Tierra Verde, Pinellas County, Florida - site of a Tocobaga charnel house and burial mound (2020) & Weedon Island, Pinellas County, Florida (2020) (both from the series Where You Come From is Gone)
Jared Ragland is a fine art and documentary photographer and former White House photo editor. His collaborative, socially-conscious work critically confronts issues of Southern identity, marginalisation, and the history of place.
Spanning approximately 3,700 acres, Weedon Island is located on the shores of Old Tampa Bay and is Florida’s largest estuary. The Weedon coastal system is comprised of a variety of aquatic and upland ecosystems, and has been occupied by human populations since the Middle Archaic period (5000-3000 BCE). The island was once home to the Yat Kitischee people of the late Weeden Island Culture [alternative spelling], who along with the nearby Safety Harbour Culture formed the major centres of political, ceremonial and social significance on the Pinellas Peninsula around 200 -1000 CE. The Weeden Island Culture is known for its sophisticated ceremonial and utilitarian pottery, mound complexes, and dugout canoes. Today, much of the estuary is managed under preservation efforts, but legacy effects of mosquito ditching in the 1950s have made salt marshes more vulnerable to flooding impacts from climate change.
Near this site, south of present-day St. Petersburg, Florida, a Tocobaga charnel house and burial mound were once situated on a series of 15 islands. Scholars believe the dead would be laid in the charnel house and a shaman/priest – with help from scavenging birds – would remove the flesh from the skeleton in preparation for burial. Once stripped or picked clean, the bones and the eternal spirit they held were placed in the mound. The Tocobaga disappeared from the historical record by the early 1700s, as disease brought by European explorers decimated the Safety Harbour culture, leaving the Tampa Bay area virtually uninhabited for more than a century. The landscape of Tierra Verde was completely transformed in the late 1950s when the burial grounds were razed and used as fill dirt for a residential development and golf course.
Both digital images are from wet-plate collodion tintype.
Weedon Island, Pinellas County, Florida by Jared Ragland (& Cary Norton) (2020)
Tierra Verde, Pinellas County, Florida - site of a Tocobaga charnel house and burial mound by Jared Ragland (& Cary Norton) (2020)
Life, A Thin Line 2 by Roberto Bueno (2019)
Toxic Sap by Roberto Bueno (2019)
Life, A Thin Line 2 (2019) & Toxic Sap (2019)
Roberto Bueno's love of nature began at a young age and was shaped by forays into the nearby biosphere reserve of La Sierra de Béjar (Salamanca, Spain), where he was taken by his environment-loving parents. His images reflect nature’s constant destruction at the hands of human beings and he hopes they will help others become aware of that degradation.
In Life, A Thin Line 2, a thin line separates where the road runs and divides the green and fresh waters, the trees and the life, from the ochre and toxic waters of a nearby mine reservoir.
In Toxic Sap, the harmful waters in this creek, contaminated by pollution from the waste rock and tailings of a nearby mine, takes a similar shape to the dead tree nearby that its water has killed.
Seda Sacred Land (2019)
Wang Wenwei is a member of the China Photographers Association, Shangtuf Image and Art Club of China, and Global Photographic Union. His award-winning career spans many decades and his work has been published in numerous domestic and international photo competitions.
This work was taken at Seda Wurong Buddhist College in Sichuan Province, China in October 2019. It depicts the red houses and golden temples in Seda against the blue sky and white clouds after snow, spectacular, stunning and magnificent.
Seda Sacred Land by Wang Wenwei (2019)
The Crow’s Nest by David Alpert (2019)
The Crow’s Nest (2019), The Ghost Ship (2019) & In the Wake of Hurricanes (2019)
David Alpert is an amateur conservation photographer specialising in underwater and 'water’s edge' photography. He sits on the committee for the British Society of Underwater Photographers and his work has featured prominently in Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year.
"It’s difficult to describe the feeling one gets seeing a shipwreck on the seabed. Perhaps it’s the unnerving quietness - or the darkness. The unnatural lack of motion of an object that should be cresting the waves – moving with the tides. Her decks should be filled with crew - her bow pushing back the sea. But there is nothing - just stillness, and darkness. Lying at the bottom of the ocean. Silent and lifeless."
With a team of divers assisting, Alpert chose to photograph a series of wrecks at night. Using light to paint his canvas, he lit up different structures (the crow’s nest, the prow of ‘the Vera’ and a spokes of a satellite dish) using multiple sources to create unusual effects. Although the sun had already set, there is still a soft blue glow of dusk. Detailed communication underwater was challenging and these scenes were planned on the surface before the dive.
The Ghost Ship by David Alpert (2019)
In the Wake of Hurricanes by David Alpert (2019)
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