As I sit here in the frozen South today, the polar vortex not withstanding, I’d love to share some beauty with you that Scott Lowden has been recording in his years long ongoing series of what is left after coal mining.
The first time I saw a slag pile was 1992 while pulling in to my girlfriend’s parents house. It was towering overhead, looking as if it was about to crush their home, while being practically 2 miles away.
It took many years to figure out how exactly to capture these behemoth black mountains. On my visits over the years I’ve photographed them in many different ways, but it wasn’t until I saw the black mountain trimmed with white snow and white birch trees that I was inspired. Add the winter setting sun for yellow highlights, deep blue shadows, and a little lens flare and I was struck with it’s odd beauty.
Are these remains a blight on the community? Certainly…but for some reason I find them beautiful. This project isn’t as much of a statement on an industry damaging what I’m sure was once a beautiful landscape as much as it is a commentary on finding beauty and capturing a sense of place.
~ Scott Lowden