Posts Tagged ‘Salt Ponds’

What’s wrong with this picture?

Some viewers of my images from South San Francisco Bay have assumed the strong colours are water pollution. When these viewers discovered that wasn’t the case, I sensed some disappointment. Perhaps their assumption was conditioned by Ed Burtynsky’s images presented by the Whyte Museum in 2009, where one especially iconic image showed water colourfully stained by nickel mining residues.
The colors in my SF Bay images are the result of microorganisms, brine shrimp for the yellows, oranges, reds and magentas and algae for the greens and some yellows. The brine shrimp change colour depending upon the salinity of the water in the salt sloughs and evaporation ponds. When the water completely evaporates, the shrimp dry out and lose their colour. (Hmmm – do we get a helping of dried brine shrimp when we consume sea salt?)

Rather than pollution, the Bay images are coloured by billions of apparently happy, thriving brine shrimp plus algae. So what’s wrong with this picture? (more…)