New Topographics: Pontefract Quarry

In 1975, William Jenkins used the term ‘New Topographics’ to describe the work of a group of American Photographers. Bernd and Hiller Becher, Robert Adams, Nicholas Nixon and Lewis Baltz were inspired by the man-made and the overlooked. Using the techniques and compositions of landscape photography, they photographed the banal so car parks, buildings, bridges were all shown in their basic, stark beauty. The New Topographics school later went on to heavily influence the Düsseldorf School of Photography.

Pontefract Quarry looms over the town. Gouged out of the side of a hill, the quarry stands in stark contrast to it’s natural surroundings. The boundaries between the man made and the natural environments are obvious, with both having a certain beauty.