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Compare Niagara Falls from Prospect Point by Platt Babbitt and Carrara Marble Quarries No.1, Carrara, Italy by Edward Burtynsky. What is the relationship between the natural environment and man in these two photographs?

In order to capture details such as the rock ledge, the mist, and the bands of water cascading over the Falls, Babbitt used a long camera exposure that resulted in the trees and people appearing almost black. The long exposure also allowed him to record the clouds, which are not usually seen in photographs of this period. He posed the human figures - ladies seated and gentlemen standing - so that they form a rhythmic silhouette against the grey backdrop of moving water. The human presence also gives an indication of the size of the Falls. Balanced on the brink, as though defying fate, Babbitt's tiny figures commune with the forces of nature, while we the spectators reflect upon the meaning of transient human frailty in the face of such awesome power. Babbitt celebrates the unspoiled beauty and grandeur of one of the "natural wonders" of the world.

Burtynsky, on the other hand, has composed the photograph around a series of contrasts that form a commentary on man's negative impact on nature: the angular man-made landform versus the natural landscape, the small scale of the machinery and equipment versus the enormous blocks of stone and the depth of the pit, the darkness of the mountain skyline versus the creamy interior of the quarry. There is a sense of guilt about the destruction of a natural environment as well as pleasure in the visual beauty of the site.