Spectacular Aerial Photography, Curated by Yellowtrace

 

Hello friends, we’re baaaaack! And Happy New Year! I hope most of you’ve managed to have a little break (I had the best break, thanks for asking), and are feeling refreshed and ready to attack 2018 like a champ.

It’s become our unofficial tradition to welcome you into each New Year with something a little left of centre – not our typical core subject, but something I consider to be equally important and relevant. January is usually when we take a moment to think about the year ahead – we pledge our New Year’s Resolutions, set intentions and goals for what we want to achieve in life, work, love, health, finance, whatever. But there was a time in my life when goal setting wasn’t part of the equation because the future was completely uncertain. My efforts were purely focused on survival, and getting through each day by placing one foot in front of the other. I’ve come to realise that goal setting and an ability to dream big are a privilege. Because being able to move out of survival mode, and living a very basic existence due to poverty, war, loss, grief, illness – whatever it may be, is not to be taken for granted. I am always deeply conscious that, each time I sit down to think about what I want to do and have the opportunity to make choices on how I wish to steer my life – this very act is a true gift. And if you also are lucky to be in this position today, then you and I are already winning.

So where am I going with this, and what’s up with today’s post, I hear you ask? Oh, fuck… I don’t know! You guys know I’m the queen of tangents, writing without a plan and often straight from the heart. Which often comes with a bit of waffle. Soz.

The reasons I chose to begin our year together with stunning aerial photography are many. First of all, I feel it’s incredibly useful to step outside our own bubble every once in a while. It’s imperative, in fact. We are all guilty of living in our own heads, in our own little world, perhaps without considering the big picture often enough. And what bigger picture is there, than the incredible world we live in. Our planet. I am always in awe of the magnificence of Mother Nature and her artistry to design better than any of us ever could. She also has the uncanny ability to remind us that, no matter how great design is, the truly important things in life have little to do with design.

Humans often have this twisted, arrogant belief that we are the ones in charge here, but this couldn’t be further from the truth – Mother Nature is The Ultimate Boss Lady. And as a Mother, She is warm, nurturing and provides us with everything we need to happily exist and thrive. And we seriously need to respect that shit. And pay close attention to Her needs and Her demands.

These spectacular aerial images highlight the diversity of the world around us, one that produces beauty and inspiration at every turn. Yet sometimes us humans are guilty of screwing it all up. It’s so easy to get caught up in our own world and to think our decisions and our actions don’t have any influence on the greater picture. It can be easy to bury one’s head in the sand and leave it to someone else to fix the problem, while we are busy chasing our own dreams. But we can all do our bit to make better choices, especially for those of us whose work has a direct impact on the environment, like architects & interior designers, builders/ developers, product designers, suppliers etc.

Anyway! I’m getting off my soapbox now, as making a speech was definitely not my intention. Yeah, like what happened there, dude? As I said, writing from the heart has its es, but also its fair share of minuses. On that note, thank you for always sticking around and hanging out with me, even when I go off on crazy random tangents like today.

Here’s to another cracking year together.

Always,
Mama Yellowtrace xx

 

Bingham Canyon Mine Utah by Michael Lynch | Yellowtrace
Bingham Canyon Mine, Utah by Michael Lynch. This mine is the world’s largest man-made excavation. It’s so big that it can be seen from outer space.

 

Tourist Destinations of China Mongolia by Catherine Hyland | Yellowtrace
Mountains of China and Mongolia by Catherine Hyland. 

 

Extraordinary Beauty of Marble Quarries by Tito Mouraz | Yellowtrace
Marble Quarries in Portugal by Tito Mouraz.

Extraordinary Beauty of Marble Quarries by Tito Mouraz | Yellowtrace
Marble Quarries in Portugal by Tito Mouraz. These spectacular images are presented in Tito Mouraz’s book Open Space Office. Mouraz spent two years touring the open-pit mines of Portugal to capture the transformation of marble quarries hundreds of feet beneath the earth. Small details like ladders and roads can be seen creeping out of the rocks, not to mention the digging machines seen from above, giving a strong sense of the mind blogging scale of these quarries. Read on here.

 

Jarrad Seng Interview | Yellowtrace
Alltervatn by Jarrad Seng.

Jarrad Seng Interview | Yellowtrace
Alltervatn by Jarrad Seng.

Jarrad Seng Interview | Yellowtrace
Alltervatn by Jarrad Seng. During a road-trip through Iceland, the Australian photographer & filmmaker tried his hand at some aerial photography. The risk and his effort have definitely paid off – Jarrad’s created a series of stunning images of volcanic rivers and lava wastelands that could pass as abstract paintings. Read our interview with Jarred here.

 

Faroe Islands by Jonathan Gregson | Yellowtrace
Faroe Islands by Jonathan Gregson for Cereal.

Faroe Islands by Jonathan Gregson | Yellowtrace
Faroe Islands by Jonathan Gregson for Cereal.

 

Valais Wallis, Switzerland by Matt Cherubino | Yellowtrace
Valais Wallis, Switzerland by Melbourne photographer Matt Cherubino. 

 

Rainbow over Nā Pali Coast State Park, Hawaii by March Romano | Yellowtrace
Rainbow over Nā Pali Coast State Park, Hawaii by March Romano. 

 

New Perspective Of Earth by Benjamin Grant | Yellowtrace
‘Tulips’ from the book “Overview: New Perspective of Earth” by Benjamin Grant. Every year, tulip fields in Lisse, Netherlands begin to bloom in March and are in peak bloom by late April. The Dutch produce a total of 4·3 billion tulip bulbs each year, of which 53% (2·3 billion) is grown into cut flowers. Of these, 1·3 billion are sold in the Netherlands as cut flowers and the remainder is exported: 630 million bulbs to Europe and 370 million elsewhere.

New Perspective Of Earth by Benjamin Grant | Yellowtrace
‘Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Aircraft Boneyard’ from the book “Overview: New Perspective of Earth” by Benjamin Grant. The largest aircraft storage and preservation facility in the world is located at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, USA. The boneyard – run by the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group – contains more than 4,400 retired American military and government aircrafts.

New Perspective Of Earth by Benjamin Grant | Yellowtrace
‘Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant’ from the book “Overview: New Perspective of Earth” by Benjamin Grant. This Overview captures the Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant in Seville, Spain. The solar concentrator contains 2,650 heliostat mirrors that focus the sun’s thermal energy to heat molten salt flowing through a 140-metre-tall central tower. The molten salt then circulates from the tower to a storage tank, where it is used to produce steam and generate electricity. In total, the facility displaces approximately 30,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.

New Perspective Of Earth by Benjamin Grant | Yellowtrace
‘Marabe Al Dhafra’ from the book “Overview: New Perspective of Earth” by Benjamin Grant. The villas of Marabe Al Dhafra in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates are home to approximately 2,000 people. Located in one of the hottest regions of the world, the record high temperature here is 49·2°C.

New Perspective Of Earth by Benjamin Grant | Yellowtrace
‘Arlit Uranium Mine’ from the book “Overview: New Perspective of Earth” by Benjamin Grant. The Arlit Uranium Mine is located in Arlit, Niger. French nuclear power generation, as well as the French nuclear weapons programme, are both dependent on the uranium that is extracted from the mine – more than 3,400 tonnes per year.

New Perspective Of Earth by Benjamin Grant | Yellowtrace
‘Iron Ore Mine Talings Pond’ from the book “Overview: New Perspective of Earth” by Benjamin Grant. Tailings are the waste and by-products generated by mining operations. The tailings seen here were pumped into the Gribbens Basin, next to the Empire and Tilden Iron Ore Mines in Negaunee, Michigan, USA. Once the materials are pumped into the pond, they are mixed with water to create a sloppy form of mud known as slurry. The slurry is then pumped through magnetic separation chambers to extract usable ore and increase the mine’s total output. For a sense of scale, this Overview shows approximately 2.5 square kilometres of the basin.

New Perspective Of Earth by Benjamin Grant | Yellowtrace
‘Qinhuangdao Coal Terminal’ from the book “Overview: New Perspective of Earth” by Benjamin Grant. The coal terminal at the Port of Qinhuangdao in China is the largest coal shipping facility in the country. From here, approximately 210 million tonnes of coal are transported to coal-burning power plants throughout southern China every year. In 2015, new data from the Chinese government revealed that the country has been burning up to 17% more coal each year than previously disclosed. The sharp upward revision in official figures means that China has been burning an additional 600 million tonnes of coal each year, and has released much more carbon dioxide – almost a billion more tonnes per year – than previously estimated.

New Perspective Of Earth by Benjamin Grant | Yellowtrace
‘Lake Oroville Houseboats’ from the book “Overview: New Perspective of Earth” by Benjamin Grant. Moored houseboats float peacefully on the New Bullards Bar Reservoir in Yuba County, California, USA. Due to a severe drought that has hit the state over the past four years, there is less space to anchor on the lake and many houseboats have been moved to a nearby onshore storage area.

New Perspective Of Earth by Benjamin Grant | Yellowtrace
‘Shadegan Lagoon’ from the book “Overview: New Perspective of Earth” by Benjamin Grant. Dendritic drainage systems are seen around the Shadegan Lagoon by Musa Bay in Iran. The word ‘dendritic’ refers to the pools’ resemblance to the branches of a tree, and this pattern develops when streams move across relatively flat and uniform rocks, or over a surface that resists erosion.

New Perspective Of Earth by Benjamin Grant | Yellowtrace
‘Moab Potash Evaporation Ponds’ from the book “Overview: New Perspective of Earth” by Benjamin Grant. Evaporation ponds are visible at the potash mine in Moab, Utah, USA. The mine produces muriate of potash, a potassium-containing salt that is a major component in fertilisers. The salt is pumped to the surface from underground brines and dried in massive solar ponds that vibrantly extend across the landscape. As the water evaporates over the course of 300 days, the salts crystallise out. The colours that are seen here occur because the water is dyed a deep blue, as darker water absorbs more sunlight and heat, thereby reducing the amount of time it takes for the water to evaporate and the potash to crystallise.

is a stunning book and unique collection of satellite images of Earth that offer an unexpected look at humanity, derived from the wildly popular followed by more than half a million people.

 

Aerial Photographs of Mar del Plastico by Bernhard Lang | Yellowtrace
Aerial Photographs of Mar del Plástico by Bernhard Lang.

Aerial Photographs of Mar del Plastico by Bernhard Lang | Yellowtrace
Aerial Photographs of Mar del Plástico by Bernhard Lang. “Mar del plástico” is greenhouse farming at the region of Almeria (Andalusia, Southern Spain). The patterns in the landscape are greenhouses and plastic foils used for cultivation of fruits and vegetables. It’s the biggest zone worldwide for cultivation underneath plastic foils (about 350 km²). Each year millions of tons of fruits and vegetables are exported. More than half of the harvest goes to Germany and other western European countries.”

 

Marqueyssac Topiary Gardens by Philippe Jarrigeon | Yellowtrace
Marqueyssac Topiary Gardens by Philippe Jarrigeon.

Marqueyssac Topiary Gardens by Philippe Jarrigeon | Yellowtrace
Marqueyssac Topiary Gardens by Philippe Jarrigeon. Philippe Jarrigeon visited the Château de Marqueyssac in France to photograph the incredible topiary gardens for PIN-UP magazine. The area was first developed in the late 17th century but only began to take today’s form in the 1860s when the owner, Julien de Cervel, planted thousands of boxwood trees which were carved into fantastic shapes. Today the sprawling gardens have over 150,000 trees that can be explored by the public through 5 kilometres of walkable paths.

 

Rock Pool in Mona Vale, Sydney by Gab Scanu | Yellowtrace
Rock Pool in Mona Vale, Sydney by Gab Scanu.

 

Aerial Images of Vibrant Landscapes by Niaz Uddin | Yellowtrace
Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone, USA by Niaz Uddin.

Aerial Images of Vibrant Landscapes by Niaz Uddin | Yellowtrace
Air Pixels by Niaz Uddin.

 

Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill by Daniel Beltra | Yellowtrace
Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill by Daniel Beltrá.

Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill by Daniel Beltra | Yellowtrace
Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill by Daniel Beltrá.

Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill by Daniel Beltra | Yellowtrace
Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill by Daniel Beltrá. “The unique perspective of aerial photography helps emphasize that the earth and its resources are finite.” After two months of photographing the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill, Beltra produced many visually alarming images of the man-made disaster.

 

Melting Greenlandic Aerial Patterns by Daniel Beltrá | Yellowtrace
Melting Greenlandic Aerial Patterns by Daniel Beltrá.

Melting Greenlandic Aerial Patterns by Daniel Beltra | Yellowtrace
Melting Greenlandic Aerial Patterns by Daniel Beltrá.

Melting Greenlandic Aerial Patterns by Daniel Beltra | Yellowtrace
Melting Greenlandic Aerial Patterns by Daniel Beltrá.

Melting Greenlandic Aerial Patterns by Daniel Beltra | Yellowtrace
Melting Greenlandic Aerial Patterns by Daniel Beltrá. Hovering above the ground in a small plane, Beltrá captured the melting ice sheets of Greenland, revealing majestic photographs of ice as it merges with the water. The landscape shimmers in whites and blues, melting under the debris of volcanic ash. This corrosive residue slices through the ice, creating black and white patterns that cause the ice sheets to separate and crumble.

 

Melting Greenlandic Aerial Patterns by Daniel Beltra | Yellowtrace
Blue Ice of Antarctica by Julieanne Kost.

Melting Greenlandic Aerial Patterns by Daniel Beltra | Yellowtrace
Blue Ice of Antarctica by Julieanne Kost.

Melting Greenlandic Aerial Patterns by Daniel Beltra | Yellowtrace
Blue Ice of Antarctica by Julieanne Kost.

Melting Greenlandic Aerial Patterns by Daniel Beltra | Yellowtrace
Blue Ice of Antarctica by Julieanne Kost.

Melting Greenlandic Aerial Patterns by Daniel Beltra | Yellowtrace
Blue Ice of Antarctica by Julieanne Kost. 

 

Australia's Salt Fields Captured by Simon Butterworth | Yellowtrace

Australia’s Salt Fields Captured by Simon Butterworth. This stunning photography series could easily be mistaken for oil paintings in which Butterworth explores the relationships between perception, expectation and reality. The image depicts the Useless Loop solar salt operation in Shark Bay, the westernmost point of mainland Australia. It was shot from a light aircraft, flying between 1,200 and 1,500 meters above ground.“The height was crucial in order to flatten perspective by using long focal lengths. Time of day and cloud cover were also critical, the abstract effect being heightened by complete lack of signifying shadow,” explains Butterworth.

 

Arctic photographed by Brooke Holm | Yellowtrace
Arctic Series by Brooke Holm.

Arctic by Brooke Holm | Yellowtrace
‘Arctic’ Series by Brooke Holm. Brooke Holm explores the unique landscape of the northernmost region of the world. On an expedition that started in search of beauty, silence and isolation, Holm discovered more than just a visually arresting natural environment.

Salt and Sky photographed by Brooke Holm | Yellowtrace
‘Salt and Sky’ by Brooke Holm. This series brings together Brooke’s landscape photography with her keen eye for linear compositions, depicting the salt fields of Western Australia.

Mineral Matter Exhibition at Modern Times by Brooke Holm | Yellowtrace
‘Mineral Matter’ by Brooke Holm, explores the interplay between Iceland’s dynamic river deltas and traces of mankind’s curiosity. Volcanic ash, sediment and colourful minerals are collected and moved by the travels of glacier water while recent human relics such as vehicle tracks and footsteps weave in and out of frame. In this terribly beautiful yet forbidding landscape where the forces of nature are profound, the limits of humanity’s dominion over the environment are brought into question.

Interview with Brooke Holm | Yellowtrace
Brooke Holm standing on the edge of Preikestolen Cliff in Norway. Photo by Nick Godsell. Read our interview with Brooke Holm here.

 

Volcanic Beach by Tommy Clarke | Yellowtrace
Volcanic Beach on Gran Canaria, Spain by Tommy Clarke.

Bondi Beach by Tommy Clarke | Yellowtrace
Bondi Beach by Tommy Clarke.

Mexico by Tommy Clarke | Yellowtrace
Body Surfers in Mexico by Tommy Clarke.

Antigua St Johns by Tommy Clarke | Yellowtrace
St John’s beach in Antigua, the Caribbean by Tommy Clarke.

 

Bird's Eye View Over The Adriatic Sea by Olivio Barbieri | Yellowtrace
The Adriatic Sea by Olivio Barbieri.

Bird's Eye View Over The Adriatic Sea by Olivio Barbieri | Yellowtrace
The Adriatic Sea by Olivio Barbieri.

Bird's Eye View Over The Adriatic Sea by Olivio Barbieri | Yellowtrace
The Adriatic Sea by Olivio Barbieri.

Bird's Eye View Over The Adriatic Sea by Olivio Barbieri | Yellowtrace
The Adriatic Sea by Olivio Barbieri. These surreal images of holidaymakers on the Adriatic coastline were meticulously staged by the Italian photographer, who also shows the shots with the people removed, highlighting the choreography involved in the project. The colour of the glistening blue sea was enhanced to match his memory of summer days at the beach.

 

Southern Africa by Zack Seckler | Yellowtrace
Aerial South Africa by Zack Seckler.

Southern Africa by Zack Seckler | Yellowtrace
Aerial South Africa by Zack Seckler.

Southern Africa by Zack Seckler | Yellowtrace
Aerial South Africa by Zack Seckler.

Southern Africa by Zack Seckler | Yellowtrace
Aerial South Africa by Zack Seckler.

Southern Africa by Zack Seckler | Yellowtrace
Aerial South Africa by Zack Seckler.

Southern Africa by Zack Seckler | Yellowtrace
Aerial South Africa by Zack Seckler. These arresting images capturing herds of flamingos, gemsbok, and even a solo turtle resting in the dazzling blue water in South Africa were shot from the passenger seat of a two-seater plane. “From elevations between 15 and 150 meters, the landscape hovers on the line between things looking very real and recognisable and being more abstract. That’s what really draws me in—the line between reality and abstraction.”

 

Iceland by Zack Seckler | Yellowtrace
Arial Iceland by Zack Seckler.

Iceland by Zack Seckler | Yellowtrace
Arial Iceland by Zack Seckler.

Iceland by Zack Seckler | Yellowtrace
Arial Iceland by Zack Seckler.

Iceland by Zack Seckler | Yellowtrace
Arial Iceland by Zack Seckler.

Iceland by Zack Seckler | Yellowtrace
Arial Iceland by Zack Seckler.

Iceland by Zack Seckler | Yellowtrace
Arial Iceland by Zack Seckler. In this series, the photographer turned his lens to the most remote areas of Iceland, many of which are only accessible by air. The resulting images are minimal, abstract and almost dream-like, presenting a rare overhead view of the frequently photographed country.

 

Neon Desert by Stefano Gardel | Yellowtrace
Neon Desert by Stefano Gardel.

Neon Desert by Stefano Gardel | Yellowtrace
Neon Desert by Stefano Gardel. Milan-born photographer presents hypnotic images of the lunar desert, illuminated by the pink glow of the sunset. Gardel makes the most of his unusual technical approach to photography to shift our expectations of the desert’s real-life appearance. The resulting landscape appears metallic, urban, industrial, and other worldly.

 


[Photography credits noted.]

 



About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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