Caution - Contains Mercury
Would you believe - of all the wonderful landscape photography I have available, this image is the one that has (thus far) made it in the movies! Yes, it is true!
In 2010 the film company licensed this image for their documentary on Appalachian mountain top coal mining, titled “The Last Mountain”. The film is about the destruction of the mountain life from mining, and also discusses how wind power can provide a new economy for the area. Though I’ve never seen the film personally (I keep hoping it will appear on NatGeo channel), I was very pleased to provide this image in support of this movie. (Side note, I was told it was to be on the screen for just a few seconds, so if you do see the movie, don’t look away!).
I have a desire to go to the Appalachian area and document what I see with my camera. It’s an idea I’ve had ever since I first heard John Prine’s song, “Paradise”, years ago. “The coal company came with the world’s largest shovel, tortured the timber and stripped all the land”.
Moving to cleaner and greener alternative energy sources is something, I believe, we should continue to promote, research, and implement. None of us want to be standing on “The Last Mountain”.
Documentary Movie Information
The documentary film is titled “The Last Mountain”, Uncommon Productions. For more information, visit their web site: http://uncommonproductions.com/movie/the-last-mountain
And if you would like to read a review of the film: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-last-mountain-new-doc_b_875689
When I took this image back in 2009, I wanted to capture the sign, but also put the surrounding forest and lake in the background. As pristine as the northern Wisconsin lakes in are (some places the water is so clear you can see down 10 feet or more), I was quite surprised to find this sign and its cautionary note.
“The fish from these waters contain mercury and may be harmful to eat, especially for women and children”.
The impact of the words, placed front and center, are in contrast to the peacefulness of the lake in the background. My first thought was - wait, it’s OK for men to eat fish? I’m not testing that theory!
I cannot answer why this small lake contains mercury. I’ve not seen this sign at the other lakes I’ve visited nearby (though that doesn’t mean there aren’t others).
This image has been licensed a few times for different publications since. Wouldn’t it be great that in the future, signs like this only hung in antique stores?
File ID: PHP_IMG_9913
1Ds Mark III, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 IS L USM
focal length 24 mm
ISO 100, 1.5 second, f/20
spot metering, manual, Gitzo tripod, 2 second mirror lock-up delay
McGrath Lake, Oneida County, near Hazelhurst, (northern) Wisconsin