Ben Depp: Tide Lines
This work is part of my ongoing project documenting the rapidly shifting landscape of southern Louisiana. I have been flying above the bayous and wetlands of southern Louisiana in a powered paraglider for five years, photographing visual clues that tell the story of this place and its destruction. With a powered paraglider, I can fly between ten and five thousand feet above the ground. I spend hours in the air, camera in hand, waiting for the brief moments when the first rays of sunlight mix with cool predawn light and illuminate forms in the grass, or when evening light sculpts fragments of marsh and the geometric patterns of human enterprise – canals, oil platforms, pipelines and roads.
In my photographs, one can make out varieties of plants, see the weather and seasonal changes – from the shifting high- water line, color temperature and softness of light, to what is in bloom, distinguish living cypress trees from those that have been killed by saltwater intrusion, or see the patterns made by wave energy on barrier island beaches.
This intimate view of Louisiana from a birds-eye perspective prompts me – and I hope, others – to see and understand this landscape in new ways and to reexamine my relationship to the environment that surrounds me.