Through my photographs I highlight the power and austerity of nature amidst the ongoing environmental and atmospheric destruction that is taking place globally.
Since 1998, I have been recording the effects of infrared and ultraviolet light on the Earth's landscape. Because infrared and ultraviolet light waves are beyond the visible spectrum, these images appear to be mystical and surreal.
Both global warming and ozone depletion are responsible for the vivid and intense colors that I am able to capture.
Ozone depletion can fluctuate quite rapidly due to changes in the temperature of the stratosphere. The warming of our troposphere causes the stratosphere to become colder while the colder stratosphere causes ozone depletion. Ozone depletion allows for more ultraviolet light to enter the surface of the earth. High levels of ultraviolet light can result in skin cancer and cornea damage in man and the destruction of plant life.
My photographs of Iceland from 2001 until 2008 illustrate the drastic change in size of the glaciers due to Global warming. Icelandic "Glacier #7" from 2001, records the mounds of snow that were abundant on the Langjokull glacier. Seven years later, "Sutur's Battle" from the series Icelandic Sagas revisits the same glacier. The snow had melted and now I could photograph volcanic flow from the last eruption of the Langjjokull volcano in 920 AD.
In August of 2010, I returned to Iceland to photograph the Eyjafjallajokull volcano after it's eruption. The series, Aftermath, explores my journey over Iceland and the ultraviolet light that my camera was able to record.
It is important to note that several NASA scientists viewed my images and all agreed that I was capturing ultraviolet light even though "there was no record of ozone depletion" in Iceland at that time.
Scientist, Jonathan Shanklin of the British Antarctic Survey, who was one of the three scientists that discovered the Ozone Hole in Antarctica in 1985, states:
"Arctic ozone depletion reached about 45 percent towards the end of March, but never quite qualified as an ozone hole because values never dropped below 220 Dobson Units. The problem was that when NASA first defined an ozone hole they did so in absolute terms, rather than relative terms. Because Arctic ozone levels are naturally higher than Antarctic ones it is therefore much harder to get an ozone hole."
The Science Daily of March 14, 2011:
" Unusually low temperatures in the Arctic ozone layer have recently initiated massive ozone depletion. The Arctic appears to be heading for a record loss of this trace gas that protects Earth's surface against ultraviolet radiation from the sun. This result has been found by measurements carried out by an international network of over 30 ozone sounding stations spread all over the Arctic and Subarctic and coordinated by the Potsdam Research Unit of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association (AWI) in Germany."
A similar finding was published in The Watchers on April 10, 2011.
I continue to travel to record the effects of global warming and the increase in ultraviolet light in the world.
Diane Tuft will hold a book signing for her book Unseen: Beyond the Visible Spectrum at the International Center of Photography this Friday, April 29 from 6-8:00 p.m..