We haven't updated the blog in some time, so we thought we'd restart by reviewing David Freese's new photobook: East Coast: Arctic to Tropic.
Last year or so when taking photography classes at Temple University (so that we could apply the learning to our photo archive ) we had the good fortune of taking David Freese’s course on World Photography.
When we heard that David was introducing his new book at the Print Center in Philadelphia (formerly the Print Club), we were delighted and went to the lecture and to buy David’s book, East Coast: Arctic to Tropic, Photographs by David Freese with text by Simon Winchester and Jenna Butler.
After Hurricane Sandy -- when Freese saw the devastation first hand -- he was, as he writes in the book on a mission to “show the connection between a warming climate and these fragile and vulnerable low-lying areas.” The result was this coffee-table sized photography book with stunning black and white images. The images (most of them aerial) are so visually appealing that many to us were reminiscent of trips we had taken or evocative of places we had read about.
That these images are important is underscored by the fact that this coast line with be vastly different in a generation or two. In other words, people living in the future will not see what we see if global warming is to continue its cataclysmic course.
Freese -- who writes that he “did a lot of research on the topic” of climate change – shows us the pristine beauty of ice and cloud in Greenland at the start of his journey.
As he writes, “water, water is everywhere” and we see that this is true – not only of glacially pure remote areas but major cities as he descends down the Eastern Seaboard in his book coming to the conclusion that “the albatross of global warming and a rising sea is around our collective necks.”
Among other places, the images take us to Quebec, Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia where the heavens seem to shine down in sun rays from above. Freese also shows us remote views such as “Bubble Rock and Eagle Lake,” Acadia National Park, Maine. The image, dominated by a boulder atop a mountaintop under a sky that is palpable startles with its bold simplicity.
The book ends in Florida with images that are as equally beautiful and stunning. The photography is done with such skill in the tradition of landscape photographers (think Edward Weston and Ansel Adams) that at times it’s easy to forget that everything might be underwater soon.
East Coast: Arctic to Tropic is published by George F. Thompson Publishing – www.gftbooks.com