Plastic and the environment – not usually a good combination, but sometimes it can be a photographic opportunity. Like seeing the land through fog or rain, a plastic sheet between you and your subject creates interesting questions about figure and ground as different versions of reality layer on top of one another.
A few weeks ago I noticed a tarp on the ground behind the gardens at the Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle. There was a lot of rain that week, and the tarp held thousands of raindrops. Trapped underneath or beaded up on the surface, they dotted it like a star-packed sky. The plastic flattened and obscured the grass beneath. With wrinkles and folds, bent over on itself or bunched up, the tarp was a subject, too.
Olympus EM1 with Olympus 60mm f2.8 macro lens, at f/4, ISO 250
Other versions: At Pike Place Market, heavy plastic tarps are hung between the flower stalls and the street. When flowers are pressed against them, the view on the street is of flowers fading into a whole other reality. In a winter field frost-covered tarps in heaps on the ground become found sculpture.