The Bizarre World of Modern-Day Agriculture Photographed by Henrik Spohler

Henrik Spohler

Cultivation and Measurement of Corn Plants, German Research Institute.

Henrik Spohler

Cactus Culture in Borrego Springs, California, USA.

Hamburg-based photographer Henrik Spohler’s The Third Day, published by Hatje Cantz, examines the relationship humans have with plant life. Spohler photographed worldwide sites of plant cultivation, showing fruits, vegetables, ornamental trees, seed laboratories, greenhouses, and followed the artificial irrigation systems that runs from northern California to the border of Mexico. “The third day” is a biblical reference to the day on which all seed-bearing plants were created. The world Spohler depicts, while it produces our food, looks almost completely divorced from nature, lacking in human presence yet utterly dominated by the humans who have utilized genetic engineering and other techniques to standardize plant life as product. His photographs elevate the geometric configurations of modern-day farming into bizarre, futuristic landscapes. They look like science fiction, yet they are real and of this planet and era.

Henrik Spohler

Rows of Clipped Trees, Northern Germany.


Cold Chamber for Archiving Seeds, German Research Institute.

Henrik Spohler

Agricultural Irrigation Channel Near Newman, California, USA.

Henrik Spohler

Water Reservoir for a Greenhouse Site in Andalusia, Spain.

Henrik Spohler

Shiitake Cultivation at a Mushroom Farm, Germany.


Lettuce Cultivation in the Salinas Valley, California, USA.

Henrik Spohler

Chemical Treatment of Cropland in Santa Maria, California, USA.

Henrik Spohler

Production of Genetically Manipulated Rice Species, Belgium.

Henrik Spohler

Preparing the Soil Near Santa Maria, California, USA.

Henrik Spohler

Ripe Sunflowers Near Chico, California, USA.


The 2nd Annual Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards is an international photography competition for up-and-coming image makers who are ready to kickstart their careers. Five talented photographers will be provided with the resources they need to get their career off to a strong start. Photographers of all disciplines are welcome to submit up to 5 images in any genre. We can’t wait to see your best work! Enter here.

  • padugan

    with filters, HDR technology, etc. there really is no reason for such flat washed out photographs. It wasn’t good in the 80’s as a result of the equipment, and it’s even worse now that it’s so easy for even a novice to avoid it.

  • mefranc

    Totally disagree with you padugan. This is clearly the look the photographer was going for (in certain shots). I think they all look amazing!

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