The surreal and spectacular aero-art of Stas Bartnikas
Stas Bartnikas has only been practicing the art of aerial photography for about five years but in a remarkably short time this Moscow-based former journalist has produced an incredible collection of images highlighting glorious and surreal sights of over 15 countries from above.
Bartnikas dubs his style "aero-art" and his work is primarily captured using small planes or helicopters. His ability to find magnificent patterns created by nature manages to deliver abstract and unique perspectives on places that are frequently inaccessible to many of us ground dwellers.
Although a small amount of his work is captured using a drone, Bartnikas stresses the old-school value of actually getting up into the air himself and looking down with a camera in his hand. While some drone photography is convenient in local settings Bartnikas is often frustrated by the limited flight range of the technology.
"Due to its limited range of flight drones are only convenient for local shootings, when you know exactly the place you want to shoot and you can reach it by foot or by car," Bartnikas explains to New Atlas. "In all other cases planes are a better option, albeit more expensive (let alone helicopters). Within a few hours of flying on an airplane you can cover vast territories and find many interesting sights that were never seen by man or by a drone's camera. There is also that special chemistry between the camera and the photographer that is worth mentioning."
Bartnikas' spectacular images of Iceland in particular have won him several photographic awards, but the artist is reluctant to name a favorite location or shot. "Usually after each trip I have several favorite shots. Maybe that is why my best shot is not done yet?"
Despite the many jaunts in tiny planes through remote areas Bartnikas hasn't had any especially frightening moments trying to capture the perfect aerial shot, although he does add it can get "bumpy sometimes."
And for the gear nerds out there he notes his general photographic kit out on these remote flights is a, "Phase One with IQ3 100Mp Trichromatic sensor and 75-150 mm Schneider Kreuznach lens as well as Sony A7RIII with different Zeiss and Sony lenses."
Take a look through our gallery for more of Bartnikas' astounding images.