2014 Photo Contest, Nature, 2nd prize

toxic beauty


Kacper Kowalski

Panos Pictures

05 September, 2013

The flotation tailing reservoir at KGHM Polska Miedz copper mine. Tailings are waste streams produced by the process of extracting metal from ore, and consist of crushed rock and chemical effluent, much of it toxic.

Views from the air reveal an impact of industry on the environment that is hard to see from the ground, as effluent leeches into the Polish landscape—coal ash (the waste that remains after coal is combusted, containing toxic heavy metals) from power stations, by-products of mining, emissions from chemical factories.

About the photographer

Kacper Kowalski

Kacper Kowalski, born in 1977, was supposed to be an architect. Yet five years of studies and four of designing were more than enough for him. In 2006, he eventually quit his job...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Focal length
50.0 mm
Nikon D3X

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