While we’re on the subject of oil, this past Sunday, the New York Times magazine re-ran Sebastiao Salgado’s 1991 photo documentary of the burning of Saudi oil fields. And, holy crap, they are, without doubt or exaggeration, some of the most stunning photographs ever taken, highlighting both the unequivocal devastation of war and the abject threat posed by mere existence of oil fields.
In a new introduction to the photographs, Salgado writes in the Times, “It took billions of dollars and years of work to clean up the mess of Saddam Hussein’s failed scorched earth policy. Twenty-five years later, wars are raging in much of the Middle East, and oil fields have already been set aflame. We must remember that in the brutality of battle another such apocalypse is always just around the corner.”
posted December 27, 2015
Today, in incredibly awesome things made available by the internet, a new(ish) website called Vintage Aerial provides access to over 5 million photos, taken in 41 states over the second half of the twentieth century.
Looking to find an aerial photograph of a specific farm, homestead, or rural township? The librarians at the site are nearly positive that they can find it for you, and for no cost! Prints of the photographs are then made available.
Just looking to browse the visual rural history of this country? Many of the prints are available to view online— many accompanied by stories from current or previous owners.
Oregon-based young farmer and photographer Nolan Caldish takes beautiful photographs, often pertaining to agricultural subjects. Several of the projects up on his website, both independent and commissioned feature vegetables, fruits, and land use issues. The three images above come the from “A Land Built By Gravity,” which explores America with stark realism, the intersection of the land and its people. Give it a peek!
Photographer, Rose Marasco, has developed a large collection of photographs of the aging Grange halls of Maine. The halls in her photographs are at once regal relics of the past and a little spooky, leaving us both nostalgic and slightly unsettled by their slight disrepair. See a sampling of the collection on her website.
A limited number of signed exhibition catalogues are available and includes essays by Frank Gohlke, photographer and Elspeth Brown, historian. To purchase a copy for $20. + $5. shipping. Please contact Rosa at email@example.com if you would like one.
Iowa photographer Marji Guyler-Alaniz gets it. She just gets it. In her own words, “Too often in our world, the beauty of a woman; of an image, is judged by a face. These are beautiful women, doing beautiful work and my goal is to bring an appreciation to what they do.”
The photographs in FarmHer, Guyler-Alaniz’s long term photo documentary on women in agriculture, show women herding cattle, harvesting, throwing tires into the backs of pickups, and carefully addressing administrative tasks. We love the project for so many reasons that it’s hard not to wax long and laudatory about it. (The photographs honor women without objectifying them; they give a much-needed face to women in agriculture; they document the absolutely essential role that women play in our agriculture system: providing food, fostering community, and sharing with others.)
But, as always, the photographs speak for themselves. Read more about Guyler-Alaniz and her project here, and consider supporting the documentary by buying a photograph or some of the sweet merch on the site.