Thursday, May 14, 2009

Weekly Photography Challenge (man vs. nature)

Challenge Brief:

Man vs. Nature


1.Submit 3-5 photos by Friday or Saturday this week

2.They may be "tweeked"

3.Can be color, b/w, sepia- anything you feel makes your photographs more dynamic

4.and, finally, have fun!

"Can't We All Just Get Along?" 

This week I went with the theme of struggle between mankind and nature and how it is affecting our earth and the impact on our environment and everyday surroundings. I am basically trying to demonstrate man's manipulation and dominance over what is, or once was, a natural environment at some point. The last photo I really like because I think it demonstrates nature subtly trying to fight back against man's imposition.  It is ironic that we can pave and pave and pave the hell out of this world, but nature is still going to fight back and create cracks in that pavement!!!  Love it.....toooo funny!   I really hope that some day we can find a way to get along and work together as a team.  

So anyway.....  I also wanted these photos to have a certain feel to them.  I used the light at certain times of day and also tweaked the color a bit post production in order to create a more hazy, dirty, hot, feeling.  I wanted you to almost be able to feel the polluted, stifling air.   

I know the challenge was to submit 3-5 photos, but I broke the rules this week and added the two together and submitted 8.  lol  This is partly due to Diana's encouragement to do so if I felt like the collection in a given week should be bigger, then I shouldn't be afraid to submit more than the challenge calls for.   So alas, I broke the rules!!!  


Lastly, I was reading The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson this week and stumbled upon this line in a poem.  I thought it was perfectly fitting for this challenge, so I am also sharing that with you this week.  

I thought that nature was enough

Till Human nature came

But that the other did absorb

As Parallax a Flame

- Emily Dickinson 


If you are interested in seeing the other entries for this week's challenge then please click here.


  1. Well, to begin with, overall I really like these, and the way you interpreted the theme - you sort of took this in a negative direction with the idea of man imposing on nature and polluting it - perhaps "negative" is too strong a word but certainly a criticism of man's influence, on nature, and perhaps the attempt at dominance of nature.

    The last photo seems to indicate that man's attempt at dominating or supressing nature isn't really in man's control. There's a sense of motion with this photo - did you take it while in a car? I see just a hint of tires in the top part of the picture - I kinda like that. At first I wasn't sure, but upon further consideration, I do like it - the photo makes more sense with that little bit of tires.

    Since I've started with the one at the bottom I'll continue to work my way up...

    The traffic cone is even up against wind apparently - man that thing looks like it's seen a lot haha! I like the sandbag on it. This is an amusing photo.

    The gas pump photo - I think this is where the gritty effect of these photos is the best. You capture the oiliness of the gasoline pump quite well.

    The traffic photo - interesting angle - it certainly shows how long the traffic goes for! Are you wishing you were driving on the road going the opposite direction? ;)

    Komatsu - perhaps this speaks of the importing the US does and how many vehicles are foreign. There's something abandoned and alone looking in this pic.

    The exhaust pipe - I bet that thing spews out some dirty fumes! I'd almost like to see it if that were the case, although given how close you'd have to be to it, that would likely be a health hazard for you!!

    The power lines - I mentioned to you previously, I really like it although it's probably "expendable" to the series as it doesn't have the construction/vehicle themes as the other photos do. But in the context of how man's technology can interfere with nature, it does make sense, - even walking through the South Downs in England there are power lines dotting the otherwise lush green hills. And it's simply a beautiful simple photo - love the lines and the softness of the sky and clouds.

    Finally, the plastic bag - my first thought was "ew gross!" haha! but it sets up the series very well and the matching garbage truck brings it together nicely as a photo. That house looks just so "Texas" to me.

    There's something about how these photos have an "old" look to them - as if someone has dug these up years later to look at a different place and time that could very well be nothing like how it will be 30, 40 or 50 years from now. I think it certainly makes one think about the environment while appreciating a good photograph.

    Well done, Erin.

  2. Think you captured your message of struggle well. Provoked thoughts of how we can progress without being destructive.K4

  3. very interesting series here, Erin- I like how you interpreted the theme.
    For some reason, when I am looking most of the entries this week, I get this sad feeling- like there is this constant struggle, even though we were created to coexist with this awesome Earth.
    Anyway, the ones that jump out at me the most are the one with the telephone lines and the one with the construction barrel/guardrail.
    Telephone lines:
    What got me on this one was not the telephone lines- but the sky- there are these beautiful little fluffy clouds in the upper right part of the photograph, but as you go farther to the left and closer to the earth, there appears to be smog of some kind- repeating the idea of clouds, but majorly tainted. The transition from beautiful blue of the sky to the sickly yellowish color is subtle, but a major part of this photograph, in my opinion.

    Construction Barrel/guardrail:
    This one feels like nature is being held at bay- like it is a dangerous place to venture- even though it is beautiful- we seem to care more for our driving comfort that the enjoyment of beautiful growing things.

    Overall, again- I enjoyed you take and your series outcome- nice job!
    (ps. I posted a picture just for you- thought you'd enjoy it :)

  4. Hi Erin,
    I love your series, my favs are
    #2 the telephone wires are interrupting the sky then your eyes travel around the clouds and back to the wires.
    #5 the angel this photo is taken from along with the roads make for a very interesting picture. I get a feel of man vs nature but then think of man vs man because of all the drivers trying to do what they want to do.
    #8 the play of the shadows on the road that has been patched is so visually interesting. There are lines going up and down, sideways, across, this picture keeps my eyes moving all around.

    I really enjoy your series, all the pictures have great lines.

  5. Hey! Great idea, though I'm sad that man is beating nature. I'll start with my favorites...

    I think that 3, 5 and 6 make a REALLY great set. I like the black eternal whole in the third one. I also love the angle and repetition of the 5th and the angle and colors of the 6th.

    The first picture has almost a nostalgic feel for me with its colors. I like the repetition of red in the truck and wrapper.

    The Power line one isn't my favorite, but I'm not sure why. I think that there are much stronger pictures in your bunch.

    The big scary construction machinery wins as the most ominous picture of the bunch. I'm glad that it's on grass which makes it more vs nature than if it were just on the street. I think that the opposing angles of the machine and the orange cone create a feeling of movement.

    Great series!

  6. Erin, I think you did a great job with the lighting that you talked about--they do seem very hot and stifling to me. I really like the one with the telephone wires, and the one in traffic--great angle.

  7. Well let's just hope that we go on paving the world so that your sissy has job security. I loved the photos, but just one question. Did people look at you funny when you took the picture of the gas pump?

  8. i agree that nature cannot be tamed.


Creative Commons License
This work by Erin Jo Chung is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.