I like to imagine that if I were to hop on a spaceship and zoom a distance away from the earth I’d be able to watch all of the inhabitants of our busy planet scuttling hurriedly around its surface like tiny ants. This is extreme, of course, and completely ridiculous, but as it turns out, if you hover at a considerably lower altitude in a plane, and dangle out of the window, you really can make out the traces of activity that we leave behind us.
Just ask Wired if you don’t believe me. They interviewed the very brilliant photographer Alex MacLean about his aerial photography examining the relationships between people and their environments (we wrote about them once before here) and the almost revelatory quality his images possess.
Alex has been leaning out of plane windows to capture his shots ever since being awarded his pilot’s license in the 1970s, and he hopes that his photographs will encourage viewers to consider the impact of pollution and resource extraction on the environment. He explains: “Through sort of abstract and engaging patterns, those things will draw people into it to hopefully think about these issues. It really is about combining art and information. Some of it is sort of subliminal – you can’t quite put your finger on it but it sort of draws you in and engages you.”
You can read the interview here to find out about the equipment Alex uses, his framing techniques and what he loves most about photographing giant sprawling patterns across unending landscapes. Or just gaze open-mouthed at these wonders. Like I am.
- Wrap up warm with this week's Best of the Web
- This is Jane: a charming photo series that displays the empowerment of women
- Brooklyn-based illustrator Aaron Fernandez’s fluorescent editorial commissions
- London-based designer Laura Jouan’s well-considered, monochrome portfolio
- Join Jonathan Barnbrook, Maisie Willoughby, Wallace Henning, Anna Lomax and Jess Bonham at Nicer Tuesdays December
- Legs 11: artist Alfie Kungu’s comically long-trousered figures
- Wes Anderson directs H&M Christmas advert starring Adrien Brody
- The New Look: Looking back at Roundel’s 1980s identity design for British Rail’s Railfreight
- Discussing cinema with Laura Marling on her directorial debut, Soothing
- London’s first crisp restaurant, Hipchips, launches with branding by Ragged Edge
- Richard Sandler’s street photography conveys the intricacies of city life
- A "stress opus" from cartoonist Nadine Redlich