The strange beauty of pollution

The Gowanus Canal is a Brooklyn waterway that, during the Industrial Revolution in the mid-19th century and beyond, served as a receptacle of waste for the various companies that fueled the way.

Specifically, the canal served as a dumping ground for coal tar, a thick, black liquid containing benzene, naphthalene, phenols, aniline and a bunch of other hazardous chemical compounds. After it was no longer needed, the canal was left to fester, and the tar substance seeped underground, floated to the surface, and interspersed itself throughout the fetid body of water, yielding a virulent stench and strangely stunning visuals.

Today, the Gowanus Canal is one of the most polluted bodies of water in the country, and was declared a Superfund site in 2010. In 2013, a dolphin even died in its toxic grip.

When photographer Steven Hirsch, a Brooklyn native, saw the channel for the first time in 2010, he was enthralled. During his initial visit, an eruption of oil started bubbling and erupting on the water’s surface with a bizarre cocktail of centuries-old pollutants. Hirsch pulled out his camera and braved the nauseating smell to capture the strange visual effect, like a metallic Impressionist artwork.

The images are at once haunting and oddly hypnotic, illuminating the disastrous results of unchecked contamination left out to rot, and the strange visual complexity that arises from such hazardous destruction. In the images, emerald green, metallic gold and electric aquamarine dance in abstract patterns that seem brewed from the imagination. It’s hard to believe these organic-looking shapes are the result of human waste and carelessness.

[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mesmerizing-photos-of-the-gowanus-canal-capture-the-dark-reality-and-strange-beauty-of-pollution_us_56e2fb6ae4b065e2e3d5c056?utm_hp_ref=photography]

True Photography

In Berengo Gardin’s view,being a photographer means playing an observer’s role and adopting a sympathetic listening stance in the face of reality,a characteristic that he shares with all of the great reporter photograhers of the 20th century. And indeed in recent years he has always been in the front line in an effort to tell us what needed changing and what needed celebrating.
As a photographer he is devoted to recording reality in the round,leaving no stone unturned. He took this photos between 2013 and 2014, portraying the ordinary life in Venice: Large cruise ships cross the lagoon. She was troubled by visual pollution.

L’Espresso
Palazzo delle esposizioni

Giada Semeraro

A large ship,leaving the basin of san marco
view from Via Garibaldi, Venice – April 2013 © Gianni Berengo Gardin – Fondazione Forma per la Fotografia

Giudecca, Venice, aprile 2013 © Gianni Berengo Gardin – Fondazione Forma per la Fotografia

 

Giudecca,venice © Gianni Berengo Gardin –  Fondazione Forma per la Fotografia

 

GIUDECCA,venice © GIANNI BERENGO GARDIN –  FONDAZIONE FORMA PER LA FOTOGRAFIA