Bernhard Lang’s Aerial Photos Capture One Of The Largest Man-Made Holes In The World

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Photographer Bernhard Lang captures an aerial view of the Opencast Coal Mining Pit in Germany, which is one of the largest man-made holes in the world. At nearly 1,500 feet deep and covering almost 22 square miles, everything is at a giant scale. Massive machinery, the size of a 30-storey office buildings, scoops out coal, sand, and dirt to mine and move it about.

It’s hard to imagine something of these proportions, and through Lang’s sweeping landscape photography, he minimizes its grandiose scale. When looking down rather than upwards, it’s hard to get a sense of just how big these things really are.  At times, they look like patterns of ant farms rather than the handiwork of humans. Perhaps it’s part of the point to say that these hulking machines and sprawling cleared paths aren’t as important as we’re lead to believe.

The real visual impact of these photos comes from their abstract qualities: the different colors of dirt that have been piled next to one another; the lines that are made by machines as they drive down the road; and the hills and valleys themselves. Through Lang’s careful framing, he’s captured their unintentional beauty.

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Alex. S. Maclean’s Aerial Photographs Of American Leisure Spots

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Boston based pilot and photographer Alex S. MacLean captures aerial images of playgrounds, parks, and other American leisure spots. The simple shots expose an interesting variety of colorful compositions that gather an almost abstract and often painterly representation of modern urban planning. His compositions are often unintentionally metaphorical and insightful, as their lively presence unofficially represent the types of things that these landscapes stand for: beautiful, fun, and often pleasurable places to be in and to look at.

“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.”

(via FastCo Design and It’s Nice That)

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David Maisel’s Mines

David Maisel’s aerial photographs of open mines questions  how human activity transforms land through industrial effort. Although beautifully photographed these images are reminders of how we destroy and pollute our planet for money and power.

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Michael Light

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San Francisco-based photographer has a few different ongoing projects, but the one I like the best is the tentatively named “The Inhabited West.” The series consists of aerial photographs parts of the American landscape: “pursuing themes of mapping, vertigo, human impact on the land, geology, and various aspects of the sublime.” Some interesting points on how we’ve constructed our world around nature, and how the two interact.

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