In ‘An Unflinching Look,’ Benjamin Dimmitt Bears Witness to the Ecological Disaster of Florida’s Wetlands

“Blue Ruin Still Life 2” (2020)

In one photo, dead palm leaves dangle from a desiccated trunk and skim the surface of a creek, making the crispy, lifeless fronds soggy with water. In another, a diptych highlights the same shoreline photographed 18 years apart, the latter sparse and sickly in comparison to its thriving predecessor.

Taken in stark black-and-white, these scenes are a few of many captured by Benjamin Dimmitt during the last three decades. They document the immense ecological changes of Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge, approximately 70 miles north of Tampa on Florida’s Gulf Coast, and are now compiled in a forthcoming book that approaches the climate crisis with raw, unwavering honesty.

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