Aftermath

June 29, 2012

I went to New Orleans twice in 2008 to assist with the continuing post-Katrina clean-up and to document the progress made in the recovery from that disaster.  I came back a changed person with regard to photography.

Juice bottle in the street

Copyright 2011 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Once back home, I thought about how I could use photography to raise awareness to the everyday disasters that mostly do not make headlines.  I finally settled on trash as the subject matter and so for the past few years have been making photographs of the remnants of modern society.  Readers of this blog will be familiar with some of that work as I have written about this several times-my recent posts, for example.  I have also used the photographs in the courses I teach.  Even after having done this for so long, however, I cannot shake the impact of seeing, and smelling, the result of our lifestyle.  As an aside, the assault on the olfactory sense is quite powerful and one not easily dismissed.  It is really something that photography can only hint at as we generally do not have access to John Waters’ “Smell-o-Vision” technology, and so…

Plastic bag laying in gutter

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

…the photographs will have to stand for themselves.

Soda can and plastic cup in gutter

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

There certainly is no limit to the subject matter.

Coke Zero bottle in street

Copyright 2010 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Of course, the problem is that all this debris starts by being dropped or thrown in the streets…

Styrofoam coffee cup in gutter

Copyright 2011 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

and winds up in our waterways…

Plastic products floating in water

Copyright 2011 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Plastic bottles in water

Copyright 2011 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Plastic debris floating in water

Copyright 2011 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Dead fish among debris in water

Copyright 2010 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

which is detrimental to humans and the other living organisms with whom we share our resources.

All of this plastic does not decompose-it continues to break into smaller and smaller pieces and ends up creating what Charles Moore refers to as the “plastic soup” that makes up the five gyres in the Earth’s oceans.

The point of this is not to not drink water.  In fact, with the temperature/heat index being around 108 degrees today, the advisories are recommending that folks drink plenty of water (and stay inside in air conditioning, which is another topic altogether.) Yes, consume the necessary amount of water-just do so from a re-usable container.  The money saved by not purchasing one week’s worth of bottled water would be enough to afford quite a nice aluminum bottle.

Take care.

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