Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
January 1, 2016

To 2016 — And Photos Like We’ve Never Seen

The Ivanpah solar power plant in Nevada. One of the largest solar power plants in the world. Photo by Jamey Stilling's long term documentary project.

What better way to end the year and start the year than with the view above?

Over five years or so, photographer Jamey Stillings documented the creation of the enormous Ivanpah facility in Nevada, one of the largest solar power plants in the world. (The Lens Blog has the story and a photo gallery of the project.)

If I hadn’t given it away, though, what might we be looking at above? Between this photo and the seventeen others presented by The Times, it’s sometimes hard to tell. Is it something organic or inorganic? a flower? a spaceship? a Hollywood concoction? a rock concert? a crop circle? a satellite dish? — or perhaps an aerial of Burning Man or The Hajj?

Crossing into the second half of this decade, the visual media will continue to deliver a steady diet of politics and culture, art and conflict. What we’re going to see more of this year and in coming times, however, are newer and stranger images, more wondrous images, more dramatically scaled or interpolated images at the intersection of science, technology and nature.

And they will challenge us to find our best metaphors.

Happy New Year from Reading the Pictures We’re excited to dive in!

(photo: Jamey Stillings. caption: The view west of Unit 2 and Mount Clark. Sept. 4, 2013.)

 

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