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  • Peta Tranquille

First Aerial Photographer and More

Updated: Feb 24

It would seem that we are here again!


I did say that my blogs would be random and irregular, so it was bound to happen.


Over the silly season, when many people take holidays, I have been busy studying three units and learning so much. I took Painting, Art/Design History and Geography units and I throughly enjoyed it all.


The history unit taught me about the development of art styles from Chinese Art, thousands of years ago, all the way up to the modern art in the mid 1900s. Of all the period and movements I am most interested in the Impressionists and now have a full understanding of their development and their influence by Photography and Japanese block prints. It is a very exciting topic and the subject of my last essay submission. I even learned Gaspard-Félix Tournachon, who used the pseudonym Nadar, the first aerial photographer in the world and that he took photos of Paris in a large hot air balloon. How cool is that?



Nadar in his hot air balloon. https://www.newyorker.com/culture/photo-booth/origins-aerial-photography

Gaspard-Félix Tournachon, aka Nadar, captured the first aerial photograph of Paris in 1858.


The painting unit pushed me out of my comfort zone and it led to the idea of transformation. My final piece was a transformation of my kitchen and the colours were matched to those within the space. The title I gave it was Ingredients and a Method, inspired by cookbooks.


"Ingredients and a Method", Acrylic on canvas, 58 x 66cm.

Although I enjoyed the painting and history units, the one I enjoyed the most was Geography. Volcanos, tectonic plates, soil, the Earth's spheres and weather were the main topics of study, however, the most exciting topic was The Anthropocene. and I will do my best to explain it for you by quoting my introduction.


"Between ten to twelve thousand years ago marked the end of the last ice age and the beginning of the Holocene(Cruzten, 2006). The evidence required to define an epoch is determined from geological material and must fulfil specific conditions. Throughout the Holocene, human activities and population growth began to have an impact on the systems of Earth, culminating with Paul Crutzen announcing the rise of the Anthropocene Epoch (Crutzen & Stoermer, 2000). However, the date for when exactly the Anthropocene should start is still up for debate within the Geoscience community, resulting in the formation of the Anthropocene Working Group. Among the Geosciences community, it was initially thought that the start of agricultural farming or the Industrial Revolution were key events. While human impacts can be identifiable at multiple times throughout history, there is clear evidence that the most severe changes were post World War II (Arbogast, 2017). This change coincided with marked increases in population, urbanisation, tourism and more. Consequently, these human actions corresponded with a rise in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere.One human activity that involves hundreds of millions of people every year is tourism which leads to a demand for transportation and the subsequent overuse of fossil fuels. I will argue that the start of the Anthropocene was kickstarted by an atomic bomb in 1945 and that tourism contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer, ushering in an age of uncertainty (Steffan, 2015)."

References


Arbogast, A.F. 2017. Discovering Physical Geography, Enhanced E-Text, 4th Edition. Hoboken: Wiley.


Crutzen, P. J. (2006). The “Anthropocene”. In E. Ehlers & T. Krafft (Eds.), Earth System Science in the Anthropocene (pp. 13-18). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/3-540-26590-2_3


Crutzen, P. J., & Stoermer, E. F. (2013). “The ‘Anthropocene’’’ (2000). In R. Libby, S. Sverker, & W. Paul (Eds.), The Future of Nature: Documents of Global Change (pp. 479-490). Yale University Press. https://doi.org/doi:10.12987/9780300188479-041


Steffen, W., Broadgate, W., Deutsch, L., Gaffney, O., & Ludwig, C. (2015). The trajectory of the Anthropocene: The Great Acceleration. The Anthropocene Review, 2(1), 81-98. https://doi.org/10.1177/2053019614564785

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