The Atomic Photographers Guild (APG) is an international collective of artists dedicated to making visible all facets of the nuclear age. Created in 1987 by Robert Del Tredici, with founding members Carole Gallagher and Harris Fogel, the APG documents the history, impact and ongoing legacy of the atomic age – emphasizing nuclear weapons mass-production, atomic testing and proliferation, nuclear power, reactor accidents, radioactive waste containment, irradiated landscapes, and radiation affected populations.
The APG has established an archive of images from 1945 to the present. Prominent works include prints by the world’s first two atomic photographers, Berlyn Brixner of Los Alamos and Yoshito Matsushige of Hiroshima. Brixner was the official photographer of the Trinity Bomb in the Alamogordo desert on July 16, 1945; Matsushige was the only photographer to document the atomic bombing of Hiroshima from within the city on August 6, 1945. Carole Gallagher’s work documents the damage done to down-winders of southern Utah living under clouds of atomic fallout from the Nevada Test Site in the 1950s and early 60s. Robert Del Tredici has photographed the US H-bomb factory complex, uranium mining in the US and Canada, nuclear waste sites and atomic survivors in the US and former USSR. Additional members come from Japan, Germany, the USA, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Brazil, Russia, and the Czech Republic. The APG’s growing membership engages the socio-political, discursive, ethical and ecological dimensions of the nuclear era.
Through exhibitions, screenings, publications and lectures, members of the APG actively disseminate their work, piecing together the fragments of what could be our darkest, most enduring legacy.
“I first clashed with fissioned atoms in 1979 at Three Mile Island while documenting the faces, places, and voices of America’s worst nuclear accident. Then I went after nuclear weapons, first meeting the survivors of Hiroshima, then photographing the men and machines of the Bomb throughout the USA, Europe, Canada, and the former Soviet Union. All along the way I met other image-makers bent, like myself, on capturing different facets of the world’s nuclear arsenals. In 1987 we pooled our energies and images to contribute towards revealing a nearly invisible entity in its own mostly unseen universe.”
Robert Del Tredici
Yoshito Matsushige: one of five photographs taken in Hiroshima, Aug 6, 1945. People who escaped serious injury apply cooking oil to their burns near Miyuki Bridge.