News & Views » Local News

John Ganis' foul shots

A photographer records an American landscape being consumed



John Ganis, a photography professor at Detroit's College for Creative Studies, specializes in using his camera to focus attention on "places where land development and resource extraction have had an impact on the American landscape."

Nearly two years ago, after oil from a ruptured pipeline leaked into Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River, he made three trips to Emmett Township, a place especially hard-hit by the catastrophic spill.

"My photographs are intended to work on multiple levels, so that the images are not made with a didactic approach," Ganis says. "Rather, I constantly seek the metaphors that will extend the viewer's understanding from the specific situation photographed to a wider perspective. I hope that the audience will find these images revealing, and that they will stimulate a conversation about the incalculable consequences of corporate greed and negligence."

You can see more of his work in his 2003 book Consuming the American Landscape and at 

Enbridge Clean-up Workers, Kalamazoo River at the Ceresco Dam, Ceresco, Michigan


Enbridge oil on the bank of the Kalamazoo River (July), Ceresco, Michigan

Oil spill Containment Booms, Kalamazoo River near South Wattles Road, Battle Creek

Enbridge Spill remaining below Ceresco Dam Fall 2011


Oil Spill in Kalamazoo River, South Wattles Road Bridge, Battle Creek

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.