PhotoSensitive
ENVIRONMMENTAL IMAGES
Credits and Related Projects

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Our treatment of the environment and our natural resources has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. While images related to the environment have found their way into several projects, in recent years, a number of projects have focused much more closely on environmental issues. Notable collections of environmental images have surfaced in two projects in particular, Life of Water and Energy.

Photos of the environmental impact of human activity, of damage to the environement and of the effects of our changing climate are all in keeping with PhotoSensitive's documentary photography ideals. All of those themese are found in our projects. Here we take a special look at select images documenting people's impact on the environment, of pollution, habitation incursion and environmental degradation. The black and white photography of PhotaSensitive creates stark images of human's negative impact on the environment. Of course, the intentionisnot to dwellonhumanity's negativeimpact but to showit to audeinces and help effect social change.

Traffic and Emissions Pollution in Edmonton

Bruce Edwards captured this image for the Energy project, showing pollution surrounding cars on a cold morning in Edmonton. Edwards says he thought this was a good illustration of what "burning fossil fuels to propel our vehicles is doing to the quality of our air."

Early morning pollution in the city of Edmonton

Oil Sands Tailings in Alberta

For the project Energy, the Fuel of Life, Larry MacDougall submitted this black image of oil sands tailings being pumped intoa settling pond at an Alberta oil sands facility. It's sadly ironic, that so much uglu pollution is produced during the processing of a commodity that will only cause more pollution.

Ugly pollution in the Alberta Tar Sands

Stripped and Abandoned Mine in Uranium City, Saskatchewan

Daniel Hayduck captured this simple, harsh image of an abandoned uranium mine. Uranium City, Saskatchewan, near the border of Northwest Territories, was a thriving mining community in the 1950s through the 1980s. Once the demand for urainum declined,the mine and the city were essentially abandoned. Today Uranium City is nearly a ghopst town and the mine looks like this image below, stripped of all that was once thought useful, barren.

Stripped mine in Uranium City, SK

Landfill and Misplaced Recyclables

One of the most striking student contributions ever received is this simple yet telling submission from Sarah Schofield, a photojournalism student. Sarah writes, "Once we get something new, the old is tossed... we like new things and new products are always being made." Sarah's photo is taken in a metal scrapyard where metal will eventually be recycled but many landfills, especially in the United States, are rich in recyclable metal. Only red tape stops these old landfills being mined for valuable recyclables. Image by Sarah Schofield.

Scrap yard landfill

Forest Fire Devastation

Black and white brings out the harshness in this forest fire aftermath, a photo submitted to the Energy project by Sherry Prenevost. While lightning might be thought of as the source for most forest fires, estimates say that at least 90% of the 100,000 North American forest fires every year are caused by humans. Sadly, this also exacerbates global warming and climate change in a vicous cycle. Dryer summers result in higher fire occurence and the fires emit more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Forest fire aftermath

Urban Sprawl and The Effects of Overpopulation

Steve Simon captured this symmetrical yet somehow ugly image of a cloverleaf where two highways cross, seen from the window of a jet.

Urban sprawl and highway traffic

Wetland Degradation and Pollution

From Life of Water, Peter Sibbald captured this dark image of pollution of a northern wetland. The picture was taken at Black River, a tributary draining into Lake Simcoe, north of Toronto. The tributary is known to have growing concentrations of pollutants that have increased the lake algae and killed Lake Simcoe's cold water fishing.

Wetlands pollution Lake Simcoe

Air Pollution From Oil Production

Similar to Larry MacDougall's iamge above, Leslie Philipp captures an ironic image of ugly pollution created during the oil refining process. Not only do petroleum products cause pollution, we produce ridculous amounts of air pollution to bring oil to market. The image shows a Petro-Canada refinery near Edmonton, Alberta. Oil refining emits an array of toxic chemicals into the atmosphere.

Air pollution during oil refinement process

It's a sad truth that oil refineries are all over the world and other bleakly similar pictures came to us from elsewhere. Shannon Randall, another student submitter, took this long view of the Irving Oil Refinery near Saint John, New Brunswick. The refinery is far away from Alberta, the place we think of as Canada's oil producer, but it is the largest refinery in Canada, producing over 300,000 barrels of oil per day at peak. Irving oil refinery air pollution emission

And of course, the Middle East is the center of the world's oil production. The submission below came from Adam Mirani, a student at the University of Guelph - Humber. Mirani took this picture of an oil facility in Kirkuk, Iraq, just north of Baghdad. Mirani says, "The oil underground has instigated violence in this region since it was discovered by British Petroleum in the early 20th century. Energy resources greatly influence regional politics, international relations and civil society." If its devastation to the environment is not bad enough, we all know that there always seems to be a great human cost to oil, as shown all too well already in this young century.

Iraqi oil refinery and more pollution

More Images from the Fuel of Life