Recycling #2, Chittagong Bangladesh, 2001 by Edward Burtynsky was part of the exhibit, Edward Burtynsky: Oil at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. ((Edward Burtynsky/Courtesy Adamson Gallery/AP))

Edward Burtynsky's Oil, a decade of photographs exploring the impact of oil on landscapes around the world, has won the And/or Book Award for photography.

The winner of the  £5,000 ($7,693 Cdn) award, given by the London-based Krasna-Krausz Foundation, was named Friday.

The Canadian photographer is known for his series of works exploring the impact of industrialization.

Oil, published by Germany's Steidl Verlag,  features 100 colour plates of his highly detailed large format images. Three chapters — Extraction & Refinement, Transportation & Motor Culture and The End of Oil — are accompanied by a series of essays.

An exhibit of the images has been shown in Washington, New York and Amsterdam and is currently on display in Madrid.

The exhibition has its Canadian premiere May 7 in The Rooms in St. John's. Burtynsky is to speak at the gallery May 16. It has 2011 showings in Edmonton, Toronto, London and Stockholm. 

'Oil epiphany'

"In 1997, I had what I refer to as my oil epiphany," Burtynsky said in a statement accompanying the book and exhibits.

"It occurred to me that the vast, human-altered landscapes that I pursued and photographed for over 20 years were only made possible by the discovery of oil and the mechanical advantage of the internal combustion engine. It was then that I began the oil project.

"Over the next 10 years I researched and photographed the largest oil fields I could find. I went on to make images of refineries, freeway interchanges, automobile plants and the scrap industry that results from the recycling of cars. Then I began to look at the culture of oil, the motor culture, where masses of people congregate around vehicles, with vehicle events as the main attraction."  

The jury called the book both "haunting" and "ambitious in scale and message."