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Photographing Human Impact

Edward Burtynsky: Photographing Human Impact

I do understand if I want granite counter tops, you need to quarry granite…. Materials come from nature, everything comes from nature at some point…… So it’s too simplistic an argument to say what they are doing is wrong but a more interesting question is – are we managing what we have to the best we possibly can?…Can we do it a better way? Can we do it in a way that’s feasible, affordable and sustainable? And that’s a more interesting discussion.– Edward Burtynsky


Edward Burtynsky is one of Canada’s most celebrated photographers, depicting humanity’s expanding impact as our two worlds collide: the industrial and the natural. His unique photography was showcased in a documentary film entitled Manufactured Landscapes and he was awarded the Order of Canada in 2006. Edward also launched The GREENS, a website for kids about environmental issues that won him the Parents Choice award and a NAPPA Gold award. This Green Hero continues to snap reality with thought-provoking, enlightening exhibits on a regular basis to help us all see the big picture of what is happening to our planet and how we can help change its course.

Photos courtesy: Nicholas de Pencier
Edward Burtynsky photographs: Metivier Gallery, Toronto/Greenberg & Wolkowitz, New York
Manufactured Landscapes, Edward studio and location footage, courtesy Mercury Films Inc.

What You Can Do

• Attend Edward’s upcoming exhibits to support his cause for creating awareness through his photography OR download Burtynsky Oil – The App to view his latest collection with interactive maps and essays

• Oil: Canadian Museum of Nature,
May 31st – September 2, 2013

Watermark the film brings together diverse stories from around the globe about our relationship with water

• Get Burtynsky Water – The App to view the contents of the book BURTYNSKY WATER presented in a multi-media rich platform on the iPad

• The Landscape That We Change: The McMichael Canadian Art Collection
June 29 – September 29, 2013

• Share this video on facebook

Other Resources


• Join Worldchanging.org, an organization supported by Edward that addresses the need for a more sustainable future with many projects that you can take part in to help

• The Basel Action Network (BAN) focuses on the prevention of the globalization of the toxic chemical crisis, with a Whistle Blower’s Corner and newsletter to help create action within communities.

•Use Zero Footprint to calculate your carbon footprint and find cool ways to help reduce it easily!

Canadian Museum of Nature

Join Green Heroes™ Academy


Play a game, play a part in changing the world: Join the Green Heroes™ Academy to take quizzes, complete dares, and test your artistic knowledge of nature while helping save the planet


A single act, done by many, makes a big difference. Join the Green Heroes™ Academy  to discover green acts that are fun to do and that earn you points on your way to becoming a Green Hero too!

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