A photographer named Benjamin Dimmit captures the breath-taking change that took place in Florida due to soaring sea levels through his documentary-An Unflinching Look. He constrained his project to a small area to bring out the detailed version of climate change. His pictures are doing the rounds across the globe.
Climate change has set the caveat bells ringing wildly. Many environmentalists have come up mobilizing people to ease out the precarious situation. Not just the environmentalists but many other concerned people have jumped into the movement to unveil the current crisis. One of these souls is Benjamin Dimmit.
Born as well as brought up in Florida, Benjamin knows every being in his area. He witnessed the brutal end of many natural bounties due to increasing seawater level. He started photographing in the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge which lies to the north of Tampa in 2004. His first visit to the area dates back to 30 years ago.
It is the upbringing of the artist that nudged him to take up the creative art. His mother was an abstract painter who made him familiar with sanctity and pulchritude of different shades of nature. Sensing the thriving photographic soul in him, she gifted him a camera at the age of 16. That day marked the birth of an artistic soul in the camera world.
Everything was in perfect shape until 2011 in the area. But with the beginning of 2011, the region got caught in the torrent of exploitation. The saltwater flowed into the shiny creeks and ruined them of their purity. Not just that, the administration too played its evil role. The Water Commissioners nodded to the proposal of raising fresh water from the natural water resources to fuel up the human errors. Thus, it lost its entity.
He shared that he had begun to photograph in the salt-damaged saw grass savannas and spring creeks there as a way of reckoning with the ecosystem loss and of understanding what had become of his native Florida in 2014. He took every possible angle to reflect the situation on-ground.
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Hurricane Charley hit this mangrove island in Charlotte Harbor, FL with 150 mph winds in August, 2004. There was severe damage throughout the area but mangrove islands like this weren’t washed away despite all their vegetation being shredded. I made these photographs 14 months later and new growth is evident on some mangrove trees. It has all grown back now. #photographyofthenaturalenvironment #mangroves #mangroveswamps #treesarebeautiful #floridasealevel #floridacoastchanges #floridacoastalecology
Taking on the grim pictures, he says that semi-tropical forest is now an open plain of grasses relieved by palm and drying hardwood trees. But it has not been a cakewalk as the land is too soft in some places. Also, the water level is not uniform throughout so he has to step ahead carefully to avoid the aqua beasts. He further enhances the accuracy of his pictures by creating selenium toned gelatin prints using his medium front camera.
After getting some perfect pictures, he began to study the saltwater intrusion. He discussed the scenario with scientists, activists, state water management officials, and locals. By taking on that way, he tried his best to reach the roots of the predicament.
He has compiled his entire photography spree into a documentary- An Unflinching Look to draw the attention of the masses to the burning issue. According to him, his spree had been painful and cathartic for him. It evoked grief, anger and feelings of loss and mortality in his heart.
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Creek Opening, Malone Island. Red mangrove trees have prop roots that extend out to anchor the plant and the shoreline. They’re known as “walking trees” and grow in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. As our climate warms, their range will creep further from the equator. #photographyofthenaturalenvironment #mangrove #mangroveswamps #analogphotography #treesarebeautiful #floridasealevel #floridacoastchanges #floridacoastalecology #climatechange #risingsealevels
The documentary is all set to add life to the exhibition-“This is Climate Change” at the Southeast Museum of Photography from October 26, 2019. The concerned souls can also check out his artwork on his website and Instagram page.
Hopefully, the documentary would be able to fulfill its purpose and fuel up the environmental sentiments whirling across the globe.