After a bit of a hiatus it’s time to grab the Think Studios pull start cord and give it a yank…
I was out a couple of weeks ago having a walk with Petey and I found myself on the east side of Cap Sante looking toward March’s Point. On the water was not the usual 1 or 2 tankers waiting to offloading crude oil, but 4 of them. The scene gave me pause. I had recently been reading about a 40 million dollar fine given to Princess Cruise Lines for knowingly dumping oil out of their bilge into the ocean for a number of years on several of their ships. It was with a sense of irony that I considered that it was a distinct possibility that it was potentially ecologically cleaner to have tankers off of Cap Sante than cruise ships.
I posted the image and a brief observation on social media and it garnered responses that might be expected. Pro-refinery, anti-refinery, anti-oil, pro-oil. One person claimed that the presence of the takers was causing breast cancer on a neighboring island. So as a photographer I say, mission accomplished.
A good photograph is one that excites a feeling in the viewer, that may in turn, incite an emotion.
I have been photographing the refineries at March’s Point for a couple of years now. I have tried to represent them in a way that might catch one unawares, suspending immediate judgement by creating a contemplative space (albeit small) within the image. Some appreciate this, others do not. And others simply continue on. The goal is to bring the refineries out of the background where they have so easily settled into for most who live and work in Anacortes. If the refineries rise out of the background then the foreground gets littered with their spoils, good and bad.
If one can take step out beyond all of this then there is no background or foreground. There is no front or back of the planet. The whole world is always in front of you, right up to point it catches up to you. And it always does. It is impossible to hide in a community (refineries included) because there are no boundaries. There are no places more magical than anywhere else. There is only one community. Living like shipwrecked souls on this watery planet awaiting rescue by a person or job, or family or town, or social relic or church does nothing but perpetuate separateness.
The whole world is your oyster, every bit of it… including the tankers.
1 Tanker, 2 Tanker, 3 Tanker, 4…
Digital Archive Print, Matted and Framed
26x44 inches (38x54 finished)
Part of an ongoing series, “Refined Living”, by Thaddeus Hink
Displayed at Think Studios, Anacortes, Washington