“Heading West” explores the power dynamics of contemporary resource extraction and the surrounding landscape. It examines how the environment is being fully industrialized to meet humanity’s needs. As we expand, the necessity for producing more energy grows. New forms of power are created using existing infrastructure, creating a seamless transition from fossil fuels to contemporary renewable resources. This is where one witnesses the interconnectivity of everything unnatural. 

Taking a topographical approach to the documentation of landscape involves noticing the repetition of patterns. This repetition of compositional resemblance connects and binds the imagery. The man-made elements are compositionally stark in their likeness across the landscape. The sharp jaggedness of human structures is juxtaposed with the organic flowing design of nature. This allows for contemplation of what the landscape was like before industrialism. 

As discussed in the 1975 New Topographic exhibition at the George Eastman House, the man-altered landscape was just beginning to take shape in the West. Now, in the 21st century, we witness different technological advancements throughout the land. The high prairie hills are abundant with strategically arranged wind farms to maximize energy efficiency. Evergreen forests are thinner and more youthful than ever. The once untamed wilderness now looks unrecognizable, as there is no such thing as a pristine landscape. Mankind has touched every inch on this earth. The days of Ansel Adams are long gone, replaced with imagery of mechanical metal sporadically siphoning the environment.

Avery Nielsen-Webb


A Vancouver based photographer, many of his projects deal with the idea of environmental preservation in North America. Taking a compositionally traditional approach to the documentation of the landscape within his images. He says “As much as he loves taking pictures of wildflowers and mountains, he has a found commitment to protecting and conserving the landscape”. This devotion continually drives him to continually bring the beauty of nature to the people around him.