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Photography

Aerial Photos by Tom Hegen Capture the Sprawling Solar Plants Popping Up Around the Planet

April 4, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Tom Hegen, shared with permission

In one hour alone, the sun pummels the earth with more power than the world uses in the span of an entire year. This staggering fact inspired German photographer Tom Hegen (previously), whose recent aerial images survey the plants harnessing this source of renewable energy. The Solar Power Series peers down at landscapes across the U.S., France, and Spain that are covered with scores of square panels—according to PetaPixel, the locations include California’s Ivanpah Solar Power Facility, Nevada’s Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, the Les Mées Solar Farm in France, and the PS10 Solar Power Plant and Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant, both near Seville.

Staggered in wide, circular patterns, much of the gleaming infrastructure relies on mirrors called heliostats to collect and direct the sunlight to a central station. This manner of harvesting uses the captured heat to generate steam that then produces energy, and newer solar thermal plants also apply molten salts to store the power long after the sun has set. “These man-made, constructed landscapes represent our efforts of building a more sustainable future in the most sophisticated ways,” the photographer writes.

The Solar Power Series is just one of Hegen’s projects concerned with the human impact on the earth, which you can see more of on Instagram and Behance.

 

 

 



Food Photography

Aerial Photos Document the Expansive Greenhouses Covering Spain’s Almería Peninsula

March 25, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Tom Hegen, shared with permission

A follow-up to his series focused on the glow of LED-lit greenhouses, Tom Hegen’s new collection peers down on the landscape of Spain’s Almería peninsula. The German photographer is broadly interested in our impact on the earth and gears his practice toward the aerial, offering perspectives that illuminate the immense scale of human activity.

In The Greenhouse Series II, Hegen captures the abstract topographies of the world’s largest agricultural production center of its kind, which stretches across 360-square kilometers of rugged, mountainous terrain in the southern part of the country. The sun-trapping structures house plants like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and watermelons that provide fresh produce to much of Europe year-round.

While 30 times more productive than typical farmland in the region, the facilities also function at a cost to the local ecosystems. “Groundwater is being polluted with fertilisers and pesticides. Some 30,000 tons of plastic waste are created each year,” Hegen tells Colossal, noting that the greenhouses are made almost entirely of plastic foil, which is shredded and discarded nearby once it’s no longer useful. “From there, wind and erosion transport it to the (Mediterranean Sea).”

Hegen will speak about using aerial photography to foster connections with the larger world during a TedX event this May, and you can keep up with his latest projects on Instagram and Behance.

 

 

 



Photography

Highlighting Life in Ukraine, A Print Sale is Raising Funds for People Impacted By the Crisis

March 21, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Ukraine Runs Through It,” Justyna Mielnikiewicz

A print sale from the women-led nonprofit Vital Impacts (previously) is raising money for people affected by the ongoing war in Ukraine. The month-long fundraiser, titled Impact Now, offers more than 100 images from National Geographic photographers. Taken globally and diverse in subject matter, the collection includes a variety of landscapes and wildlife, in addition to stunning underwater shots by renowned photographers Paul Nicklen (previously) and David Doubilet (previously)—and multiple shots focus specifically on life in Ukraine. David Guttenfelder documents protestors from the country’s Orange Revolution in the mid-aughts, while Justyna Mielnikiewicz spotlights young dancers from Kramatorsk and Sloviansk in 2015, the latter of which became a hub for pro-Russia rebels the year prior.

Impact Now runs through April 20, and all profits will be donated to Direct Relief, which is providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine. You can buy prints here.

 

“Ukrainian Demonstrators in the Orange Revolution,” David Guttenfelder

“Dresses,” Amy Toensing

“Polar Bear Mother with Cubs,” Norbert Rosing

“Central Park on a Foggy Night, New York,” Jim Richardson

“Emperor Reflections,” Paul Nicklen

“Merced River Yosemite Valley,” Michael Melford

“Last Bell Kyiv,” Dina Litovsky

“Chance Encounter,” David Doubilet

“Yosemite Valley after the Storm,” Jimmy Chin

 

 



Photography

Winners of the 2022 World Photography Awards Highlight the Striking Sights of Life Around the Globe

March 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

Thanh Nguyen Phuc. National Awards, Travel, Winner, 2022, Sony World Photography Awards. All images shared with permission

The Sony World Photography Awards (previously) garnered a whopping 340,000 entries for its 2022 competition, with subject matter spanning from the magical landscapes of Turkey to an intimate portrait of Burmese siblings. Approximately 170,000 of those original submissions fall under the contest’s National Awards category, which recently announced the top images. The winning collection offers a varied and striking look at the state of contemporary photography and a broader consideration of culture, documenting both the serendipitous and composed sights from 62 countries around the globe. Select photos from the competition will be on view from April 13 to May 2 at Somerset House in London, and you can view the entire collection on the contest’s site.

 

Cigdem Ayyildiz. National Awards, Landscape, Winner, 2022, Sony World Photography Awards

Edina Csoboth. National Awards, Portraiture, Winner, 2022, Sony World Photography Awards

Filip Hrebenda. National Awards, Landscape, Winner, 2022, Sony World Photography Awards

Swe Tun. National Awards, Portraiture, Winner, 2022, Sony World Photography Awards

Wonyoung Choi. National Awards, Architecture, Winner, 2022, Sony World Photography Awards

Metha Meiryna. National Awards, Portraiture, Winner, 2022, Sony World Photography Awards

Raido Nurk. National Awards, Motion, Winner, 2022, Sony World Photography Awards

Martina Dimunova. National Awards, Portraiture, Winner, 2022, Sony World Photography Awards

Minko Mihaylov. National Awards, Lifestyle, Winner, 2022, Sony World Photography Awards

 

 



Photography

Sinister Storms and Twisters Disturb Rural Landscapes in Dramatic Black-and-White Photos by Mitch Dobrowner

February 17, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Lightning Cotton Field.” All images © Mitch Dobrowner, courtesy of photo-eye Gallery, shared with permission

Shooting solely in black-and-white, Mitch Dobrowner (previously) documents storm cells, tornadoes, and other menacing weather events at peak destruction. Funnel clouds plunge to the ground in spindly tunnels and churning clouds frame bright bolts of lightning. Photographed in the plains and rural regions, the images highlight a range of ominous occurrences on the horizon, a chaotic contrast to the tight rows of cotton and calm, agricultural landscapes in the foreground. To see more of Dobrowner’s storm-chasing excursions, visit photo-eye Gallery and Instagram and watch this interview for insight into his adventures.

 

“Vortex No. Duae”

“Funnel Cornfield”

“Tornado over Plains”

“Trees Clouds”

“Saucer Over Grasslands”

“White Tornado”

“Storm Over Sierra Nevada”

 

 



Photography

A Photo Series Captures a Magnificent Rock Formation Set Against the Tateyama Mountains

February 16, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Yasuto Inagaki, shared with permisison

With the imposing Tateyama Mountain Range in the backdrop, a photo series by Yasuto Inagaki centers on a smaller, recurring focal point: a few trees that have sprung from the top of cragged rocks. Inagaki, who lives in Japan’s Toyama Prefecture, visits the Amaharashi coast in Takaoka City often to capture the unusual formation among different weather, times of day, and seasons. Some shots show the sun just atop the mountains as it reflects in the water below, while others document bright daylight illuminating the snowy backdrop and an airplane flying in the distance. “The first time I encountered a miraculous scene like this one,” he tells Colossal,” the city was covered in fog, and the moon was shining brightly on the Tateyama Mountain Range…I have visited the shooting several times.”

For more of Inagaki’s photos, which include striking vistas and cityscapes around Japan, visit his Instagram.

 

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Sailing Ship Kite