Climate change is directly responsible for influencing David Ellingsen’s ongoing series Weather Patterns. Having grown up on rural Cortes Island, British Columbia, Ellingsen acknowledges his strong connection with the environment and the immediate effects of global climate change felt around him. Ellingsen began Weather Patterns I in 2011 by documenting the daily flux of the Pacific Ocean, taking a photograph every day possible. Inspired by meteorological records being broken globally and locally, Ellingsen uses such events to structure his works. As humanity moves forward, constantly ushering in new records for extreme temperatures and precipitation activities, the continuous, never-ending nature of this project becomes obvious.
The presence of the artist is important to this work, with Ellingsen shunning any automated process by only documenting the days he is able to be present at the Pacific Ocean. His technique of compressing photos creates images that appear abstracted, challenging our notions of documentary photography by creating lens-based compositions. Through logging and recording images associated with record-breaking elemental extremes, Ellingsen envisages a narrative archive of environmental changes as he experiences them from his home here in the Pacific Northwest.