For his 2009 Light After Dark project, UK photojournalist Toby Smith used extremely long exposures to shoot England’s 32 coal power stations at night. We wouldn’t normally use the word “beautiful” to describe coal stacks, but in Smith’s capable hands, they become just that. Portrayed in a soft, tranquil light, the maligned industrial complexes become spaces of serenity, muddling our perception of what they stand for ecologically. The series is part of Smith’s formidable portfolio exploring energy, inudustry and environment through the camera lens:
“I get very excited learning about a large industrial complex in a systematic way,” he said. “I try to bring it alive by depicting its purpose and its fabric. It’s a little bit harder and less direct, but it’s what I enjoy in photography.”
Check out Toby’s Scottish wind farm photos and lots more energy/industrial photography at his website.