aerial

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Photography

An Incredible Aerial Tour of Earth’s Surface from the International Space Station

January 9, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Philadelphia-based photographer and videographer Bruce W. Berry Jr. brings together images from the International Space Station (ISS) in his new time-lapse video, The World Below. Berry used public content from NASA to form the meditative short film that reads like a supersized version of today’s popular drone landscape videos. The World Below offers a glimpse at the vast scale of our planet, with portions of the ISS in-frame to provide additional perspective. The film compares richly textured, abstracted topography with dense networks of bright lights to showcase the powerful impact of humans on the planet.

All video and time-lapse sequences were taken by astronauts onboard the ISS. Berry then edited, color graded, denoised, and stabilized the footage to create the seamless quality of the final film. If you’re interested to learn the specifics of the clips’ locations, the filmmaker lists them out to the best of his knowledge in the video notes.

Berry created a similar video in 2013, but decided to create the newer version due to the wealth of content that has become available since his original take. The ISS makes 14.54 orbits around the Earth every day, providing ample opportunity for new views. You can see more of Berry’s photography portfolio on his website, and watch more videos on his Vimeo channel. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

 

 

 



Science

Half a Century in the Making: Tree ‘Crop Circles’ Emerge in Japan

December 19, 2018

Johnny Waldman

image courtesy FNN

Two peculiar ‘crop circles’ have recently been spotted in Japan’s Miyazaki Prefecture. Viewable only from above, they were formed by sugi (Japanese cedar) trees.

Conspiracy theorists will be disappointed to learn that there is a very practical explanation for how these shapes emerged: science. Specifically, it was the result of a scientific experiment that spanned close to 50 years.

According to documentation (PDF) we obtained from Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, in 1973 an area of land near Nichinan City was designated as “experimental forestry” and one of the experiments was to try and measure the effect of tree spacing on growth. The experiment was carried out by planting trees in 10 degree radial increments forming 10 concentric circles of varying diameters.

Part of what makes the crop circles so alluring are their concave shape, which was an unexpected result of the experiment that would suggest tree density does indeed affect growth. The trees are due to be harvested in about 5 years but officials are now considering preserving the crop circles.

Below is an image from Google Earth, which is unfortunately a bit dark. For those who are interested, here are the exact coordinates. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

image courtesy Google Earth

 

 



Photography

Abstract Aerial Photographs Reveal the Beauty of Meandering Waterways

December 4, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

The project Water.Shapes.Earth uses aerial photography and storytelling to bring an understanding to the complex and diverse ways water inhabits our planet, from a radioactive water pond in Huelva, Spain to mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan. The images provide an abstract look at Earth’s surface, presenting purple-hued veins of a divergent river or an icy body of emerald water laced with severe cracks and splinters in its surface. Stories accompany the many images, which bring attention to how each might be a sign of climate change, and to highlight our own destructive mark on our environment. You can read about a salty marsh in Spain or glacial river tributaries in Iceland on Water.Shapes.Earth’s website. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Art Photography

Striking Aerial Photographs of Namibia’s Arid Landscape Appear as Abstract Paintings

October 22, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Australian photographer Leah Kennedy captured Namibia’s colorful, dry topography on a recent aerial safari. Much of the artist’s work is aerial, which satisfies her creative affinity for combining abstraction and duality in her photography. Kennedy traveled in a Cessna light aircraft, as well as in a helicopter sans doors, using a medium format camera. She shares with Colossal, “The resulting images are, at least temporarily, removed from their reality they take on different forms and in some cases appear to be of microscopic origins or reminiscent of something else entirely. This ambiguity and departure from reality is what intrigues and inspires my work.”

In addition to her fine art portfolio, Kennedy teaches workshops and offers tutorials on photography and Photoshop. You can see more of her site-specific series and purchase prints of select photographs on Kennedy’s website, and follow her work and travels on Instagram.

 

 



Photography

Abstract Patterns Emerge from Iceland’s Colorful Topography in Aerial Photographs by Stas Bartnikas

September 24, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Moscow-based photographer Stas Bartnikas captures landscapes from above. This perspective presents an abstracted view of the scenes below, turning mountains, waterfalls, and streams into compositional elements that provide color or texture. Bartnikas refers to his works as “aero-art,” and intends to capture the character and personality of each abstracted landscape when shooting. “It is almost the same as photographing human portraits,” he tells Colossal. “Each portrait is unique and conveys its own message.”

Iceland is one of Bartnikas’s favorite locations to photograph due to its surreal combination of ice, snow, volcanic formations, glacial rivers, and beaches. “Regular travelers are able to see only so much of this amazing place, whereas aerial photography allows us to see places that are inaccessible on foot,” he continues. “This very different perspective enables us to capture the beauty of our Earth in its fully glory and uniqueness.”

For each series, Bartnikas charters a plane to fly him around the area. His next destination to photograph is San Diego, where he plans on capturing some of the southern parts of the United States and a few northern parts of Mexico. He is one of the winners of the upcoming Siena International Photo Awards and his work, among the other winners, will be featured at the Beyond the Lens photo exhibition held from October 28 to December 2, 2018 in Siena, Italy. You can view more of his work on his website and Instagram.

 

 



Photography

Ephemeral Winter Weather on the Faroe Islands Captured by Photographer Felix Inden

June 11, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Photographer Felix Inden recently explored the Faroe Islands with the goal of capturing the landscape’s ephemeral wintery weather. “Imagery from the islands is frequently seen in social media,” Inden explains. “What I had rarely seen was really winterish imagery, so my plan was to capture the islands in their winter dress. Easier said than done, because of the Faroese weather. It’s not a place where harsh winter conditions are likely to happen for a long time. Most often it is one or two snowy days—then new rain comes and washes it all away.”

Based in Germany, Inden travels frequently for his work, and leads workshops in such photogenic places as Iceland and Norway. You can see more of his far-flung photography from the comfort of your couch, including this captivating trip to the Lofoten Islands, via Instagram, Facebook, and Behance.

 

 



Photography

Aerial Explorations of International Cityscapes Washed in a Neon Glow by Xavier Portela

May 4, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

After a visit to Tokyo in 2014, self-taught photographer Xavier Portela became frustrated by how static and two-dimensional his images appeared. His photographs didn’t capture the emotions, acute stimulation of senses, or electric feeling one experiences while gliding through the bright lights of a foreign city with jet lag-induced insomnia. To explore this vibrancy and atmosphere Portela began to manipulate the colors in his images, amplifying their saturation to make each reflect what the brain remembered, but the original image couldn’t convey.

“When you are taking photographs on the streets you have way more than just a frame, you have variables like temperature, noise, people, smell,” Portela tells Colossal. “You have tons of details that make our senses and brain record a specific ‘scene’ of that moment. When you got home and you look at your photographs on screen, you only have a frame in two dimensions. It’s frustrating how much information you just lost… I wanted my shots to look like as if they came straight out of a manga. Vibrant and electric.”

Portela’s series Glow is an ongoing archive of urban images from his trips to Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok, New York City, and more. Each photograph is edited with a wash of neon-inspired pink, blue, and purple lights. Although previous series have included photography taken on the street, more recently he has begun to produce aerial views of the sparkling cities below. You can see more images from the Belgo-Portuguese photographer and filmmaker on Instagram and Behance. (via This Isn’t Happiness)