Before & after

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“It seems that almost any photograph taken today has the potential to become a ‘before’ to a devastating ‘after’ yet to come.” —Eyal and Ines Weizman, Before and After: Documenting the Architecture of Disaster (2014)

As a social and documentary photographer, I was never really into landscape photography until about a year ago, when I stumbled upon and rediscovered the work of Robert Adams.

It struck me how some photographers were able to question the world with their landscapes. I had been using (or trying to use) Ansel Adams’ ‘zone system’ in my photography, and I am always inspired by the technical quality of his work. Yet without his efforts and those of other like-minded photographers, Yosemite National Park and probably many other natural parks would not exist as we know them today.

When discussing the first photographs in our photography class, a friend told me that my images made her think of the line from Before and After – the one I quoted above. I went through my photographs again and did some research on the places where I made them, and I realised that indeed, all of those landscapes will probably not be the same in the coming decades.

Some images are made with a construction site behind me. Others are of landscapes below sea-level, and as the sea could rise 8 meters or more in coming decades due to global warming, more than 25% of the land in Belgium could be flooded. .

Photography Theory and Practice – A Collaborative Project