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Human Nature ↵ About This Project

Nazraeli Press, 2017

Exhibition at Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Matt Swinging between Trees, Lost Coast, California 2015

Trained as a mechanical engineer, Matt worked in the solar energy industry and directed the design and construction of a clean-room factory in Thailand. Moving back to the United States, he spent 2 years sourcing his clothes, food, tools, and shelter from the wild. Now living in San Francisco, his goal is to bridge the pre-industrial and modern worlds. He is currently working for Google X on a renewable energy project.

Maddie with Invasive Water Lilies, North Carolina 2008

Maddie swims in the pond on her family's land in rural North Carolina. Her parents built their off grid home using trees from their property. Much of their food comes from their garden or is gathered from the nearby woods. Maddie's father, Nathan, is the director of Buffalo Cove Outdoor Education Center, a wilderness camp located in the foothills of the Southern Appalachians dedicated to helping children discover and connect with the natural world.

Rachel Mud Bathing, Virginia 2009

Rachel immerses herself in the communal mud pit at the Twin Oaks Communities Conference in Louisa, Virginia. People from around the world come to the conference to talk about eco-villages, cooperative housing, and how to live closer to nature.

Maggie in an EEG Study of Cognition in the Wild, Strayer Lab, University of Utah, Utah 2016

Researchers at the University of Utah, working under Dr. David Strayer, are conducting studies measuring cognition in nature. The EEG cap and facial electrodes record brain activity as participants are exposed to different natural environments.

Kate in an EEG Study of Cognition in the Wild, Strayer Lab, University of Utah, Utah 2015

Researchers at the University of Utah, working under Dr. David Strayer, are conducting studies measuring cognition in nature. The EEG cap and facial electrodes record brain activity as participants are exposed to different natural environments.

Esme Swimming, Parkroyal on Pickering, Singapore 2014

The Parkroyal on Pickering contains over 15,000 square meters of greenery, amounting to twice its land area. In Singapore, 100 percent of the population is urban. The Singapore Green Plan promotes conservation of the nation’s natural resources and the use of green technology to conserve the environment. ‘Wild’ nature is being reincorporated into the city.

Hafiz and Stasia on a Staycation, Parkroyal on Pickering, Singapore 2014

Low and Ng Landscaping the First McDonald's with a Green Roof, Singapore 2014

Francisco before Boxing Practice, Davey Lopes Recreation Center, Rhode Island 2011

The Davey Lopes Recreation Center in Providence, Rhode Island grows food to give away to people who live in the neighborhood.

Alice and Leeasia in Their Garden, Southside Community Land Trust, Rhode Island 2011

Filling one square block in the south side of Providence, Rhode Island, the Somerset Community Garden contains 72 plots. The families who garden there are of African-American, Cambodian, Dominican, Hmong, Irish, Italian, Laotian, or Liberian origin.

Madelaine in a Study of Stress Reduction in Virtual Reality, Bosch Lab, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden 2015

Dr. Matilda van den Bosch stresses her subjects with a math test and a simulated job interview. After delivering them into a virtual forest with singing birds, she measures how soon her subjects' heart rates recover.

Troy Holding a Guinea Fowl Chick, GreenHouse Program, Rikers Island Jail Complex, New York 2014

Rikers Island is New York City's main jail complex. There are three organic gardens run by the Horticultural Society of New York, where prisoners tend flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Riots, lockdowns, beatings, and solitary confinement occur in the nearby buildings.

Stacy, Corey, Daniel, and Melinda, Malaysian House in a Rainforest Biome, Eden Project, England 2017

The rainforest biome in Cornwall, England is part of the largest greenhouse in the world. The plants and hut were transported from Malaysia.

Xing in an Aviary, Jurong Bird Park, Singapore 2014

Urban Greenway in Seoul, South Korea 2014

Nate Clearcutting a Forest Planted 60 Years Earlier, Oregon 2014

Joel Clearcutting a Forest Planted 60 Years Earlier, Oregon 2014

Kurt Guarding Logs for Export to China, Essequibo River, Guyana 2016

Guyana, a country on South America’s North Atlantic coast, has one of the largest unspoiled rainforests in the world. Norway is funding Guyana to protect and maintain the rainforest. China is developing infrastructure in Guyana and offering to buy trees that are cut and minerals that are mined.

Lumber Mill, Oregon 2014

Jason Igniting a Controlled Burn, US Forest Service, California 2015

In the United States each year, more than 73,000 wildfires burn approximately 7 million acres of land. The number has been rising. To prevent wildfires, the US Forest Service performs controlled burns between fire seasons, when the land is wet enough that fires don't go out of control. The Forest Service budget for controlled burns is 1 percent of the amount spent fighting wildfires.

Wildfire, California 2015

In the United States each year, more than 73,000 wildfires burn approximately 7 million acres of land. The number has been rising. To prevent wildfires, the US Forest Service performs controlled burns between fire seasons, when the land is wet enough that fires don't go out of control. The Forest Service budget for controlled burns is 1 percent of the amount spent fighting wildfires.

Trees Marked for Cutting after a Wildfire, National Park Service, California 2015

Paul, Tree Grower, Oregon 2014

Trent, Torrey, and Taylor, Cattle Ranch, Nevada 2013

Farmer John Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant, California 2014

Barn, California 2011

Jesús, José, and Luis Harvesting Turnips and Miner’s Lettuce, Heirloom Organic Gardens, California 2011

Oranges, California 2011

Alicia Clearing Land for Farming, California 2012

Ice to Protect Orange Trees from the Cold, California 2015

Farmers still use ice, the best technology available, to protect orange trees from cold winter temperatures in the Central Valley of California.

New Crop Varieties for Extreme Weather, Geneva Greenhouses, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, New York 2013

New varieties of grapes, peppers, and raspberries are grown and tested under high-voltage lamps at the Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York. Scientists race to create climate-change-resilient agriculture. By crossbreeding domesticated crops with their wild ancestors, they propagate superhardy strains that can withstand droughts, heat waves, and freezes. As erratic weather patterns intensify, farmers need crops that can cope with such stresses.

Michael Gleaning Cotton, Texas 2006

Due to the depleting aquifer and years of drought, wind turbines now provide more consistent income than crops in Nolan County, Texas.

Palm Trees without Water, California 2014

Dave and Jenny, Swimsuit Shoot on an Abandoned Farm, California 2014

After years of drought, many farms in California were abandoned or left fallow. Even now with the rains returning, farmers fight for water rights. Some farmers make extra money renting their land as a backdrop.

Allie Waving to Town, Nevada 2013

Madaya, Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah 2014

Gas Station, Wyoming 2009

Air Sampling, Mauna Loa Observatory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Hawaii 2016

Under NOAA Earth Systems Research Laboratory’s Global Monitoring Division, Portable Sampling Units are used at over 90 sites around the world to collect air. NOAA measurements on Hawaii constitute the longest record of atmospheric CO2 concentrations in the world.

Chance and Patrick Launching an Ozonesonde Balloon, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Colorado 2016

Chuck Taking Sample Readings at the Geysers, the World’s Largest Geothermal Field, California 2015

The Geysers is the world's largest geothermal field, containing a complex of 22 geothermal power plants that draw steam from more than 350 wells, approximately 72 miles north of San Francisco, California.

Charles Looking at the Sun, Space Weather Prediction Center, Colorado 2016

If a major eruption happens on the sun, the solar storm can send electromagnetic radiation and charged particle radiation into our atmosphere.

Elk at the Game and Fish Department, Wyoming 2010

In order to catch people hunting off season, rangers at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department office in Pinedale bring an elk taxidermy into the wild and wait for someone to shoot it.

Cliff Swallow Nests under a Highway Overpass, Nevada 2012

Honey Bees on a Rooftop after Rain, Oregon 2014

Rooftops in the city of Portland, Oregon, host bee hives to pollinate the city's plant life.

Josh Winter Bathing, Sweden 2015

Air Sampling Site, Niwot Ridge, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Colorado 2016

Air samples from Niwot Ridge in Colorado are used by NOAA Earth Systems Research Laboratory’s Global Monitoring Division to make real air standards–the air to which every other air sample is compared.

Researchers during a Whiteout, Niwot Ridge, Colorado 2016

Crevasse, Vaughan Lewis Glacier, Alaska 2016

The Juneau Icefield in southeast Alaska is one of the largest ice fields in the world, covering more than 1,500 square miles.

Uwe Measuring the Velocity of a Glacier, Juneau Icefield Research Program, Alaska 2016

Every summer since 1946, members of the Juneau Icefield Research Program have traversed the Juneau Icefield, contributing to the oldest continual study of a glacier in the Western Hemisphere.

Kenzie inside a Melting Glacier, Juneau Icefield Research Program, Alaska 2016

Evan Sleeping at Camp 18, Juneau Icefield Research Program, Alaska 2016

If climate-warming trends continue, the Juneau Icefield is expected to completely disappear by 2200.

Icebergs from the Gilkey Glacier, Alaska 2016

Globally, glaciers cover about 10% of the Earth’s surface and store about 75% of the world’s freshwater.

Beach Restoration after El Niño Waves, California 2016

Wang Ying Ocean Swimming, Hawaii 2016

Lava Boat Tour, Hawaii 2017

Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii has been erupting continuously since 1983. Tourists from around the world rent seats on lava boat tours, despite the risk of flaming debris falling on them.

House Construction after a Lava Flow, Hawaii 2016

Goda and Lev in the Cleanest Air on Earth, Hawaii 2016

The air over Cape Kumukahi on the Big Island of Hawaii has traveled across the Pacific Ocean. It is arguably the cleanest air on Earth. This photograph was made on Goda and Lev's second date. They asked for a clothed portrait and, during the photo shoot, started kissing.