Fire and Ice Proposal

January 28, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

I wrote this as a proposal to conduct a photo essay on the juxtaposition between the desert southwest and Antarctica.  Check out my Fire and Ice gallery to see a few examples of a work in progress.  Still looking for funding ;)

 

FIRE AND ICE

Desert Landscapes of the American Southwest and Antarctica

 

     At first glance, it would seem a difficult task to place together two more disparate regions than the American Southwest and Antarctica.  Situated some 10,000 miles apart in different hemispheres of the earth, an immediate contrast is seen between the warm red rock of the Southwest and the cold blue ice of Antarctica.  One landscape seems completely devoid of water, while the other appears to be smothered by it. 

     And yet Antarctica, like the Southwest, is very much a desert.  While it is true that 98% of the world’s fresh water belongs to Antarctica, it is in the form of ice built up over millions of years.  Much of Antarctica receives less than two inches of precipitation annually.  Both the Southwest and Antarctica are biological deserts as well, supporting very few plant and animal species. 

     A striking connection between the two landscapes is that they are both sculpted to a large degree by water, even though running water is scarce.  The difference lies in the behavior of water as an erosional force.  In the Southwest, torrential rains and flash floods may act quickly to shape the hoodoos of Bryce National Park, or the sculpted walls of Antelope Canyon.  In Antarctica, the land is slowly ground down by the incredible weight of flowing glaciers and icecaps, some thousands of feet thick.  It is this strange combination of similarities and contrasts that has drawn me to this photographic comparison of these compelling landscapes.

                                                                  

                                                                                                                               Mark Dornblaser


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