February 1955, Edward Burtynsky was born in St. Catharines, Ontario. Known for his remarkable photographic depictions of global industrial landscapes. They are regarded as one of the world’s most accomplished contemporary photographers. His purpose for the choice of subject is to show the effect humanity has on the environment on a large scale. To many people, many would not think twice or process the major destruction. So in turn Burtynsky would make photos like Oxford Tire Pile 1#. The immense landfill of tires being shot at this low-to-top angle added with the muted colors leaves you with this gloomy and draining thought. He would also do this with other environmental issues. Such as oil spills where he’d play with the eye level of the camera and saturation to give it some otherworldly feel. He also seems from viewing his works, to take photos from a much farther distance to capture the subject as a whole. Honestly, they seem more like paintings, making the environment the subject itself. His works continue to make push people to take into consideration the world around them.
— Intentional Landscapes: Stepwell #5, Sagar Kund Baori, Bundi, Rajasthan, India2010 —
When scrolling through his work, it was difficult to choose. As I said before each of his works felt so interesting and unique. Yet this one stuck with me. Doing some research, I learned step-wells were meant to provide water yet this photo makes it very apparent that it has been dried out. With its symmetrical composition taking this photo from a bird’s eye makes the stepwell appear so empty and used. leading down to the bottom of the composition with its stairs and the lighting getting darker looking down upon it. I also do enjoy, from what I think, the change in saturation to make it more gray and hollow. The now more vibrant erode walls add on to make it more grimy. I already spoke before about it but I enjoy how the stepwell is structured as it makes its own patterns that create its leading line in the photo to make the viewer stare down almost as if they were really there. I feel as if this will catch the viewer immediately and learning about it possibly being abandoned is much more jarring. Knowing the damage done by humanity that can no longer be reversed.