The Fresh Coast Project is the endeavor to capture the Great Lakes on film before the chance is gone. We asked founder Ed Wargin why he has dedicated his craft and career to documenting the Great Lakes and why in particular he has chosen analogue. His answer may shock you, could film, "quite possibly be gone forever"?
I find myself to be part of a unique generation of photographers, a generation forced to straddle a line between two distinct mediums, outcomes.
Simply put, my whole career has been built around shooting still photography on film.
I’ve held onto film longer than most of my professional colleagues, only purchasing my first digital camera in the last 18 months. It wasn’t easy for me to do. That said, I am cautiously excited about turning a new page in this chapter and shooting digitally as the headwinds of technology move us all forward. Time marches on, right?
However, my career is rooted in photographing the Great Lakes on film for my many books, editorial and commercial assignments. Over the years , I have come to learn how important and necessary it is to share the Great Lakes with the rest of the world.
Nothing can or will accomplish this task better, in my opinion, than photographing The Fresh Coast Project on film. The details of film are rich and saturated, and to those who are familiar with working in film, there is element of needing to be exact in your exposures as you shoot. As well, the best part is film’s ability to be archival … which lends it to being a great historical tool.
Over the course of The Fresh Coast Project, I find that many people do not realize that film is indeed going away, and in regard to mainstream availability, once gone, it may quite possibly be gone forever.
So with the passion for film and a professional history rooted in still photography, I have created the project called The Fresh Coast Project. The FCP sets out to tell a story about this time in history of the Great Lakes through photographs and hopefully the entire project will be on film. But only time will tell – and time is running out.
Like film, the Great Lakes are at a critical juncture.
Consider this if you will – when we look at commercial fisheries and manned lighthouses, most have faded into the pages of history. Things move on. We will eventually all move on from film to shooting with other mediums. Like the many fishing villages and lighthouse keepers that were once part of our fabric, film will be just another piece of history – once here, then gone.
To me, the parallels between shooting on film and the Great Lakes appear to be endless, and this changing of the guard is what intrigues me most about the project. We can’t stop film from going away any more than we can stop lighthouses and fishing villages from fading from view, and we can’t stop the march of technology nor the progress of change forced upon pristine untouched landscapes in the Great Lakes. But at least my goals are sincere in that I want to capture what I can, while I can – on film – as long I am able to so of this moment in time in our Great Lakes history.
I am photographer Ed Wargin and this is the Fresh Coast Project.
If you would like to support the Fresh Coast Project and keep up to date with Ed’s work, follow the project on Faceboook