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Our relationship with the natural world, and our use and abuse of it provide a rich source of imagery for photographers. Some of our constructions harmonise with and add to the aesthetic appeal of the landscape. The Golden Gate Bridge, the Sydney Opera House, Stonehenge and the Pyramids of Egypt are examples. However, many conflict with the natural environment and raise public concern, such as open cast mines and industrial complexes. It is interesting to see how the nature of film and photography often adds an aesthetic quality to such sites and gives them a romantic mysticism. Look, for example, at Hans-Christian Schink’s A20 Peenebrücke Jarmen, Ed Ruscha’s Phillips 66, Flagstaff, Arizona and David Spero’s Communal Chicken Roundhouse and Chicken Coop, Tinker’s Bubble. Some photographers build entire collections around these concepts, such as Joel Sternfeld’s American Prospects.

Film-based photography

Digital photography

Film and video

Hans Christian Schink

Ed Ruscha

David Spero

Joel Sternfeld