EPA wants your environment pictures, issues public photo challenge

Latest government crowd-source project: EPA looks to document environmental problems, challenges and beauty

documerica image fron 1970s
Challenges from US government agencies are all the rage these days and the Environmental Protection Agency today became the latest group to issue one: Take cool pictures of your surrounding environment to become part of historical record.

The EPA's Locations Challenge looks to update a 40-year old agency project known as "Documerica" which included more than 15,000 photographs of images of American environmental problems and everyday life. In the 1970s the EPA hired freelance photographers to capture images relating to environmental problems for the project.

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The challenge is that the EPA would like to get citizens to look at the original Documerica pictures and take new, updated shots.  From the EPA: "Choose an original Documerica photo either from the ones we post for each challenge or one you find yourself. Go to the location where that Documerica photo was taken, possibly even the exact spot where that photographer stood to take the photo 40-odd years ago, and "re-take" a current photo of the same scene. Read more about the photo on Flickr, for additional clues about location or subject matter that might help you. If the challenge includes more than one Documerica photo, choose one or as many as you like. The EPA will select photos that best show the new "after" view of the same original "before" Documerica photo."

Original Documerica images can be seen here

The EPAs says it has no deadline for the challenge but notes that it will likely conclude around Earth Day April 22, 2012.

The EPA says to submit photos under the "State of the Environment" project  and to include the link and name of each original Documerica photo you're recreating.

Featured submissions will have a chance to become part of the Earth Day 2012 State of the Environment Exhibit at the U.S. National Archives in Washington D.C., the EPA says.

Beyond the Locations Challenge the EPA wants to gather images of the environment in general for inclusion in its "State of the Environment" Flickr group.    The EPA says it wants pictures of the environment around you, good or bad but should also capture what the agency calls "current environmental issues or successes of our time."

Photos collected from this series and shown off on EPA's Facebook page have a chance to be in the nationwide traveling exhibit featured by EPA and the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration starting in April of 2012.

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.