Nevada nuclear test sites
I’m not going to try to reproduce the images here – fitting them into this layout would require losing much of the detail that makes them so striking – but you should definitely go and see some photographs of Nevada’s nuclear test sites in a New York Review of Books review of a collection of Emmet Gowin’s images:
In 1996 and 1997, the Department of Energy and the US Air Force allowed the photographer Emmet Gowin to take photographs of Nevada’s nuclear landscape from a helicopter. These have now been gathered in a new book, The Nevada Test Site, published by Princeton University Press. Gowin’s original prints aren’t large, about 10” x 10”. But even slightly reduced in size, they give a sense of extraordinary scale, thanks to the raking light and the stark immensity of the Nevada basin. The intimate clarity of Gowin’s lens makes it look as though every detail within its range is aspiring to be noticed. On the desert floor, cause and effect seem to have been reversed. The craters look as though they’re ancient geological formations, the roads added later by curious investigators exploring these strange formations.
Unfortunately the book is too costly for me to indulge myself by buying a copy, but it costs nothing to look at the review.