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Photo project documents rivers of the interior U.S.

By dpreview staff on Sep 11, 2013 at 10:00 GMT

Jeff Rich's photo project started at the French Broad river outside of Asheville, North Carolina. Since then, 'Watershed Project' has taken him to the Tennessee River and now the Mississippi in an effort to document and raise awareness of the safekeeping of these rivers. He tells Wired's Raw File of the project, "I’ve had to be careful about setting some boundaries," keeping the scope of his project limited to the aspects relating to stewardship, pollution and control of the rivers. The resulting images are arresting reminders of the beauty - and vulnerability - of some of the U.S.'s great waterways.

 Photo by Jeff Rich.
 Photo by Jeff Rich.
 Photo by Jeff Rich.
 Photo by Jeff Rich.
Via: Wired, Source: Jeff Rich


Total comments: 14
By RichRMA (7 months ago)

Hopefully, whatever official document produced will have captions, explanations because the images themselves explain no context. For example the one where the road descends into the water, we don't know if it's a freak flood, or a permanent feature.

By Ettishole (7 months ago)

I agree. I was expecting a little more info going into this article. The Wired article (linked in the beginning) helps a bit though.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
By Johnsonj (7 months ago)

Those are beautiful shots And interesting subject matter. I wish he would've used an iPhone too so we could get some side-by-sides to compare.

By hydrospanner (7 months ago)

As an avid fisherman (I actually fished the French Broad, where this project began, in April.) living in the rust belt, a project like this really speaks to me. Though I rarely fish the big rivers, it's all too common to see the scars (and in some cases open wounds) of industrialization on the streams and creeks that feed the big water.

There are riverbeds dyed orange from decades of industrial dumping and acid mine drainage, and miles of flowing water more or less completely devoid of fish...even so, over the past twenty years, great progress has been made toward undoing that damage, and the recovery has been very promising.

Now, with most of the steel industry a thing of the past, fracking threatens these waters, and I guess only time will tell if the people around here will take a lesson from history.

By Ian (7 months ago)

I'm glad DPReview featured this, but it certainly pays to visit the original article on Wired as there are more, larger photos, and they have captions.

By Ahender (7 months ago)

The Flint River in Georgia is listed as a threatened water way in the U.S. In the late 70's the Corp of Engineers decided they were going to dam it without basically telling anyone. The only way anyone found out was when the bulldozers arrived at one the the major put-ins. My brother, and the wildlife club he belonged to, contacted then Governor Jimmy Carter and took him on a canoeing trip down the river. Only then did the dam project get halted.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
Felix E Klee
By Felix E Klee (7 months ago)

To me, the photos in the article on have a look which I remember seeing in the print edition of National Geographic about twenty years ago. (We stopped subscribing.) What's the secret of this look? Grading? Composition? Are photos with people staged?

1 upvote
By chris_j_l (7 months ago)

If you are speaking of colour quality, the National Geographic look and feel is the Ektachrome look and feel. There are Photoshop plugins that do similar and GIMP has a filter to do the same.

The pose (look over my left shoulder at something 3 km away) is likely staged but can be natural - just depends if you have something interesting over your shoulder 3km away.

By AbrasiveReducer (7 months ago)

They look like film. But I think the secret is that this is un-enhanced color, the way reality actually looks. No tobacco filters, graduated ND, super saturation plug-ins, etc.

1 upvote
By Vermeero (7 months ago)

These photo's are shot on film, cited from the article on

"All the work is shot on film with either 4×5 or 8×10 camera. Rich says he wanted to shoot larger format work because he liked the sharpness and depth of field you get on negatives that size. But it also slowed him down and created a pace to the photos that feels similar to that of the rivers he’s photographed."

Rolo King
By Rolo King (7 months ago)

Well, it is film. :D

"All the work is shot on film with either 4×5 or 8×10 camera."

By drumsultan (7 months ago)

Beautiful shots.

John De Bord Photography
By John De Bord Photography (7 months ago)

That fourth shot is just haunting......

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
mike kobal
By mike kobal (7 months ago)

great way to raise awareness - with beautiful photography

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
Total comments: 14