Edward Burtynsky is a contemporary photographer making a name for himself by doing photography series – some of which take as long as 6 years to complete. His earlier works include photographic series on QUARRIES – shot from China, to the US, to India, Portugal, Canada and Italy - MINES, RAILCUTS, HOMESTEADS, SHIPS, AUSTRALIA, and his latest series OIL - shooting this resource from cradle to grave, as they say – from extraction to its various uses to the inevitable aftermath.
His current venture is WATER, and is due for completion in 2013 after a 5-year commitment. This should be interesting. If he stays true to form, there should be an environmental element to his series, but one that stops short of promoting any specific agenda of any kind. I’d like to see how he’s going to accomplish that in the world of water!
There are a few hints as to what will come up in his water series. He has already shot the Three Gorges Dam Project in China – having had to use a drone to capture the high views since, according to Burtynsky, there is no civil aviation space in the skies of China. The next item mentioned is “irrigation circles”. Again, this should be interesting. I hope he does something different than more aerial shots of pivots neatly patterned across the plains. It’s then off to Niagara Falls I assume since he mentions that after 3 years he’s still contemplating how to shoot the falls without being “postcard-y”. There is also a hint that he’ll cross over his oil segment with water by using some of the BP oil spill shots in the Gulf of Mexico.
He was asked if there is any aspect of the water shoot that he has found particularly challenging to capture? His answer was “the source – where water comes from”. I often cruise Google Images looking for groundwater pictures and I certainly sympathize with him on this one - assuming he's going to include groundwater in his series at all!
For a peek of what this photographer has been up to you can visit his web site here.