Edward Burtynsky
Man's Effect on the Earth

Edward Burtynsky

In 2005, Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky won the TED prize, a prestigious award given to three people a year. As part of the award, the recipient is given the chance to speak at the TED conference and share three wishes he or she has for the world. In the case of Burtynsky, these issues revolved around sustainability and his intimate awareness of the fact that man's effect on earth is becoming increasingly destructive. In fact, Burtynsky's study on man's effect began when he first started University. It was a project his professor gave him, to document the evidence of man on earth, and, according to Burtynsky, he is still working on that initial project. Edward Burtynsky's photographs are beautiful, massive reflections on massive global influences. However, what is interesting about Burtynsky is that he is not photographing inherently beautiful landscapes. In fact, some of the images he captures are quite horrific when you think of the consequences of the subjects he deals with--factories, quarries, urban mines, oil. Now a film has been made about the work titled Manufactured Landscapes. Here we hear from Burtynsky and, filmmaker, Jennifer Baichwal.