Inside Amazon by Ben Roberts
Prix Pictet nominated-photographer Ben Roberts captures the online retailer's massive UK "fulfillment centre"
It's not hard to detect the influence of fine-art photographers Andreas Gursky or Edward Burtynsky in these images taken inside the Amazon.com warehouse or 'fulfillment centre' in Rugeley, Staffordshire, in the West Midlands.
Though Roberts' subject isn't an east-Asian stock exchange or a factory, the clinical automation and peculiarly logical landscaping of Gursky and Burtynsky is still apparent in his images. This vast structure, covering an area the size of nine football pitches, is just one of seven such buildings run by the retailer in Britain.
Roberts, the winner of The BJP Project Assistance Award 2009 and nominated for the Prix Pictet 2012 award, shot these photographs for The Financial Times. The accompanying article doesn't soft pedal the company's patchy employment record, but also questions whether workplaces and the jobs offered therein, are the future for places like Rugeley, a former coal-mining town that never wholly recovered from its pit closures.
For more, read the FT piece here; to take a look at a fuller selection of images, see Roberts' own site. For greater insight into how great photographers tell the stories of our age, consider Questions Without Answers, our VII Agency anthology; for a broader understanding of today's fine-art photography, see Vitamin Ph, which features the work of 121 living photographers who have made a fresh and innovative contribution to international art photography in recent times.