Chris Jordan Shoots Garbage-Filled Birds

10.19.09 Will Sherman

Best known for his large-scale images of excess, rendering unimaginable statistics like the millions of pieces of plastic dumped into the ocean each hour, photographer Chris Jordan focuses his lens more closely. Visiting the Midway Atoll, at the center of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Jordan took these disturbing photos of dead albatross chicks raised on a steady diet of plastic debris floating in the water: lighters, bottle caps and other colorful trash. He writes:

To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, not a single piece of plastic in any of these photographs was moved, placed, manipulated, arranged, or altered in any way. These images depict the actual stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world’s most remote marine sanctuaries, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent.

Photos by Chris Jordan