Stunning photography of man’s mightiest shame

Peter Essick

The first song, The Ballad of Bill Hubbard, on Roger Waters’ album Amused to Death begins with an anecdote. It is the story of a wounded soldier asking to be abandoned to die on the battlefield. Told in a matter-of-fact tone by the aged voice of the soldier who abandoned him, it creates a strong counterpoint to the emotion that underlies the story. It evokes sepia-toned images of pain and loss.

Matter-of-fact story telling makes Peter Essick’s book, Our Beautiful, Fragile World, an emotional snapshot of environmental tragedies in progress. Essick is a photojournalist for National Geographic who has spent the last 25 years documenting man’s devastating impact on the environment. In this respect, Essick has the advantage of Waters in that the visual imagery linked to each story leaves nothing to chance.

Essick has put about a hundred of his most evocative images in a coffee table book. The images range over the world in location. We go from the wilds of Alaska, the Antarctic, and Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile, to the everyday in a Home Depot parking lot in Baltimore and a picnic on the banks of the Patuxent River.

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via Ars Technica http://feeds.arstechnica.com/~r/arstechnica/index/~3/RzOOfcFogtU/

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