Here is a selection of images from photographer Elizabeth Moreno's series "Traces: Landscape Transfiguration." These images speak to the changes--sometimes sublte, sometimes dramatic--that places can endure when they undergo the broad process known as "development." Here is the introduction to this series, from Moreno's web site:
Change is a constant and essential quality of life in this planet and universe we inhabit. A lot of people say things like: “we just have to accept it”, but as thoughtful beings we can question the nature of any change, decide if it is good or bad and act according with that judgment.
In this automated era ruled by a global and consumption oriented media, we are always either being bombarded by all kinds of information or so busy that we forget to question the metamorphosis that our planet is suffering, to which we are direct contributors and that we end up accepting, without even asking ourselves what the effects are.
During the last 10-15 years the natural environment in the Baja California peninsula, and in the whole world has suffered huge transformations and I think we must be conscious about them, especially those ones that involve destruction. When we ignore them, generally we realize the damage that has been caused once is too late to do something about it.
This work is a visual compilation of traces that our civilization leaves in the continuous transformation of the world that surrounds us. It is an attempt to set aside the kind of landscape photography that is just a visual placebo for the eye and create a purposive work. Through these images that make obvious the contrast between what is a human trace and the natural landscape, I invite you to thoroughly observe our environment, to reflect on how we are altering the planet we will inherit to future generations, and if you consider it valuable I also invite you to do something about its preservation.
See the rest of this series, here. Check out the rest of her work on her site--she also has a powerful series about coal production in Baja California Sur, and another striking documentary project about gypsum mining in Isla San Marcos. Elizabeth Moreno is from La Paz, in Baja California Sur, Mexico. She studied fine art and documentary photography in the United States, and since 2008 has been living La Paz, working on her personal documentary projects.