Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Preapocalyptic River - Environmental Wet Plate Documentary Series

  I rarely work on a single series of images, so I decided to push myself creatively to do just that.  Living in a city of over a million people and being drawn to nature I couldn't help but to select a theme which is somehow connected to those facts.

  "Preapocalyptic River" is a series of 23 Ambrotypes documenting the San Diego River, or what is left of it.   I chose to focus on the mouth portion of it - the last 5 or so miles before it empties into the vast Pacific Ocean.  That portion has over time been completely overran by civilization and nearly forgotten by the local residents.  Hundreds of thousands of people zoom above it on highway overpasses and surface street bridges.  They are unaware that below them a fragile and beautiful environment is struggling to sustain existence and provide a habitat to a multitude of creatures. 
  To document the state of the river now I chose glass support to reflect the fragility of nature.  For many of these images I had to go well off the beaten path, though some of them were captured right from the bridges that dominate the landscape above it.  I used only 19th century lenses to echo the times when this river ran free and unencumbered.
  All plates seen below with a black border are 4x5in and those without the border are 3.25x4.25in.  I am open to exhibiting these plates or to a sale of the entire series.

Anton Orlov

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