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Posts tagged ‘Environment’

Erosion – A Downloadable PDF

Over this past six months I’ve been exploring a variety of ways of getting imagery out there in product form in a fashion that represents some of my thinking, beyond the single image.  The first of these presents a series of images from the east coast of the U.S. on a topic soon to be of importance to everyone, the rising seas.

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Click on the link here to download a pdf.  You can view the pdf on either a tablet or a computer.  Alas, the navigation buttons work only on a computer.  However, on a tablet, you can just swipe.  These images are also available as a folio with images and colophon, printed on archival matte paper, 8.5″ X 11″,  boxed for $60.00.  Contact me at james@jameshuntphotography.com for more information.  Thanks.

Earth Day and the March for Science

Congressman Jim McGovern and colleagues did a nice job of nurturing hope and resistance at today’s March for Science held in Elm Park, Worcester, Massachusetts.  I have studiously tried to avoid launching into rants on this blog in recent years, largely on doctor’s orders.  But, as McGovern said, and I have to paraphrase rather than quote, if you asked me twenty years ago if I would have to help stage a march in favor of science some day, I’d say, ‘what are you, nuts?’  But here we are.Hunt_170422_1004176It is worth reminding ourselves that the E.P.A. was created during the Nixon Presidency. You remember Nixon, the well loved republican.  Oh, wait….  Even that guy, expletive deleted that he was, couldn’t hold a candle to our current expletive deleted.  Trump’s efforts to lower the collective IQ and fire up the coal industry have left me feeling a sense of deja vu and I have finally figured out why.  He’s building up an industry for which there is little or no market.  It reminds me of the golden days of the U.S.S.R., which is probably no coincidence.  In that centrally planned economy, they would crank out concrete that wasn’t ever going to be shipped anywhere.  No customers.  So we mine coal and further screw up an already vulnerable planet while the UK celebrates their first day of using no coal, anywhere, for anything.  I would not call the UK a bastion of liberal thought.  Perhaps they just know how to do business.  But, here we are.

It was encouraging to join the assembly today.  The weather was dreadful.  There is a far bigger march taking place in Boston.  No matter.  Sometimes you just need to rant.  Sorry doc.Hunt_170422_1004177

 

Winter in the Forest

It isn’t over yet.

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Let us hope that spring arrives soon, when it is supposed to arrive.

Along the Blackstone River – Worcester to River Bend Farm

The Blackstone River project continues though I have no idea where it will lead.  Researching an idea and then getting out in the field is definitely an exciting experience.  The more I find out about the River then more intriguing it becomes.  It makes up in Worcester, the industrial heartland that it helped to create.  This view of Beaver Brook is less than half a mile from my home.

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The white object in the upper left is a mattress.  Fairly random I know.  Beaver Brook joins forces with Middle River about two miles away, to give genesis to the Blackstone itself.  As you can see, there isn’t terribly much left that is natural about Beaver Brook.  Where we’re standing is where the Brook comes out from below ground.  It is tunneled in for around a mile, reappears in Beaver Brook Park off Chandler Street in Worcester and then disappears again.  It would seem that civilization has trumped nature, in this case.  That is the story here I think, the tension and synergy between nature and civilization writ large.

As I said in the previous post, the Blackstone is one of the most polluted Rivers in the U.S., which is saying something.  It was indeed the home of the industrial revolution and it’s 400 plus foot drop from Worcester, Massachusetts to Pawtucket, Rhode Island meant water power.  At Pawtucket, a Mr. Slater founded the first Cotton Mill in the United States, the very first one.  The impact of that bit of industrialization on the entire country cannot be over-stated.  More on that to come.

Nature has reasserted herself though along the way.  Just a bit of research pointed us toward River Bend Farm in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, less than twenty-miles away.  River Bend is actually a state park, managed by the Massachusetts Division of Conservation and Recreation, though it is affiliated with the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor which is  under the management of the National Park Service.  It is perhaps ten to fifteen miles long.  It runs along a stretch of the Blackstone River and the Blackstone Canal itself, parts of which at this location are still clearly visible.  This is an image of the Canal from new the Visitor Center there.

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The Canal Barges were propelled, or rather pulled along, by horses that trod along the tow path you can see to the right. In places, the Canal and River intermingle, as seems to be the case here at the Arch Bridge approximately half mile north.

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But what about that 400 foot drop from Worcester to Providence?  The Canal required a series of locks to make the journey possible.  Here is the Goat Hill Lock, one of the few remaining that is still largely visible.

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A barge would enter the lock and a door shut behind it.  There was also a door shut in front.   Water would be pumped out or in to the lock depending upon the direction the barge was heading.  The water level would reach that of the next leg of the journey and the door in front would open, allowing the barge to carry on.  This lock is ten feet wide.  That is not the pathway for flowing water, that is the entire lock, meaning that the barges were all less than ten feet wide.  All that, and it was still cheaper than sending goods over land, evidently considerably cheaper.  The barge then moved ahead into an area of the Canal or River such as this.

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Obviously, no passing in the lock.  However, on the good side, very little need for a GPS.  More to come.

Back Under the Highway – Blackstone River Photo Essay Part 1

I have visited this spot a number of times and always found it compelling.  I’ve decided to take up the Blackstone River as a project, to explore it’s story and its visual presentation.  I’m looking forward to the challenge.  It’s 48 miles long or so, starts in Worcester Massachusetts, right in the middle of the city, and ends up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.  It’s been called one of the most polluted rivers in the country, which is a artifact of it’s history as the home of the first successful cotton mill, and many many subsequent factories powered by its water.  History isn’t the only problem, however.  Communities along the River, including evidently Worcester (though someone can correct me if I am wrong) have long used the River as a way to dispose of waste water post treatment.  That problem is being addressed at this point, but it took an act of Congress (literally) to get things started.  Even though it’s gotten a bit cleaner, you aren’t supposed swim in this river, let alone drink from it.  It represents what we have left of our planet.  This is about the interaction of humanity and nature.  Nature is still there, but it is a contentious situation.  We began at the Blackstone River Bike Path in Worcester, walked first back toward the city, and then reversed our tracks and headed toward Millbury.  It was a lovely day it turns out, though initially a bit cold.  Here are some samples of what we saw.

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This is Route 146.  The bikeway wraps around the River and under the Highway above.  Providing the public an opportunity to access the River here was a great idea.  But this is an urban landscape, to be sure.

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That does not make it any less appealing, however.

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These falls deserved an extra shot for obvious reasons.

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Nature has a way of fighting with the footprint of our society, even if it is just through a leak.

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I did not offer an Earth Day greeting this year.  The crazy and very anti-scientific debate around the environment in Washington may have gotten the better of me.  I’ll offer one now to those volunteers who try to keep places like this reasonably inviting.  Thank you.

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Tech Note:  It wasn’t sunny out there but it was fairly bright.  Some of the shots taken underneath the highway would have in times past required HDR (High Dynamic Range) technique which involves the merging of several images, bracketed to Over, Normal and Under exposure of the image to capture the full range of tones,  The incredible contrast between the shadows under the highway and the bright though cloudy day outside of those shadows used to be practically impossible to photograph in one image.  No more.  The incredible sensors coming out of Nikon and Sony make it possible with one click.  I am amazed.  I was ready to do some HDR work and took the images that would have been required for it, but it just wasn’t necessary.