Beauty Vs. Destruction

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Beauty vs. Destruction Defining toxic waste can be difficult because it is widely used. Mainly, toxic waste means any substance harmful to life and the environment. It can be wastes involving and including any of the following characteristics: “poisonous, radioactive, flammable, explosive, corrosive, carcinogenic (causing cancer), etc” (Enviro Facts). Photographer Frank Gohlke has a tendency to take his photographs based on nature and how humans have corrupted the environment with modernization. In his photograph, “Nyanza Toxic Waste Site, Above the Sudbury River Ashland, Massachusetts, May 1990”,Gohlke successfully captures an emotional aspect and portrays the sense of natural beauty and human destruction simultaneously by his use of visual technicalities, such as color and shadows, angle and dominance. Frank Gohlke exploits color and shadows and the different connotations that it can depict. As I glanced at the picture the first object that I looked at was the red “Danger” sign towards the left of the photograph. The only red color in the entire photo lies on the “Danger” sign, so my eyes were immediately drawn to it. The danger sign is used as a technique to keep people away from what is happening to the earth around us. The dull fence that the sign is fixed on, positioned in the toxic waste swamp with rubbish surrounding it, conveyed the sense of imprisonment. The fence leads from the gloomy and dark foreground of the toxic waste site to the background of rolling hills where it dramatically shifts to brightness, mountains, and open valleys. The fence separates the freedom and happiness of the rolling hills behind and to the left of it, from the toxic and mawkish marsh to the right. The waste site looks like a massive forest fire had gone through, ripped apart and destroyed all the plant life and tall trees. The swamp, covered in shadows, logs and broken trees,

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