German photographer Tom Hegen has been capturing the astonishing interactions between humans and nature for several years. Using everything from drones to hot air balloons, Hegen's work offers stunning, surreal and abstract aerial perspectives on such subjects as coal mining, aquaculture and tulip farms.
"In my aerial photography I focus on landscapes that have been heavily transformed by human intervention," explains Hegen. "I am trying to sensitize the viewer for those subjects by taking a look on the extraordinary forces impacting our environment."
Over the last few years Hegen has created over a dozen different photographic collections, each telling its own novel story. Some of Hegen's work is undoubtedly confronting, particularly when highlighting the violent impacts of mining on our natural landscapes. But even when the human intervention stories are disturbing, the images are often gorgeously abstract.
Hegen's illustrations of mass farming, both on land and sea, create mind-bindingly beautiful compositions clashing the order of humanity with the chaos of nature. His series on tulip farming in the Netherlands particularly highlights the amazing colorful forms created by man-made cultivation on a mass scale.
The work is captured using a wide variety of aerial techniques with Hegen suggesting each medium has its own strengths and weaknesses. While drones offer an incredible ability to hover over spaces and generate precise compositions, small airplanes allow Hegen to access remote locations and cover large areas.
"What I want to say is that for me it's not the technique that counts, but the result and the story behind the photographs," Hegen explains to New Atlas in an email.
Hegen is currently researching his next photographic series, but much of his work to date was captured in a book released late in 2018 entitled Habitat.
Take a look through our gallery at some of Hegen's most spectacular aerial images.
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