Digital Cameras

Dazzling aerial photos highlight the clash between man and nature

The Quarry Series: Open pit mining is the way most raw materials for construction are gathered from the ground
The Quarry Series: Open pit mining is the way most raw materials for construction are gathered from the ground
View 39 Images
The Salt Series: Chronicling the harvesting of sea salt using artificially created ponds. The color of the water indicates the salinity of the ponds with micro-organisms changing their hues as the salinity of the pond increases
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The Salt Series: Chronicling the harvesting of sea salt using artificially created ponds. The color of the water indicates the salinity of the ponds with micro-organisms changing their hues as the salinity of the pond increases
The Salt Series: Chronicling the harvesting of sea salt using artificially created ponds. The color of the water indicates the salinity of the ponds with micro-organisms changing their hues as the salinity of the pond increases
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The Salt Series: Chronicling the harvesting of sea salt using artificially created ponds. The color of the water indicates the salinity of the ponds with micro-organisms changing their hues as the salinity of the pond increases
The Salt Series: Chronicling the harvesting of sea salt using artificially created ponds. The color of the water indicates the salinity of the ponds with micro-organisms changing their hues as the salinity of the pond increases
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The Salt Series: Chronicling the harvesting of sea salt using artificially created ponds. The color of the water indicates the salinity of the ponds with micro-organisms changing their hues as the salinity of the pond increases
The Salt Series: Chronicling the harvesting of sea salt using artificially created ponds. The color of the water indicates the salinity of the ponds with micro-organisms changing their hues as the salinity of the pond increases
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The Salt Series: Chronicling the harvesting of sea salt using artificially created ponds. The color of the water indicates the salinity of the ponds with micro-organisms changing their hues as the salinity of the pond increases
The Cultivation Series: Dedicated to the art of gardening, this series is an examination into the ways humans corral nature
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The Cultivation Series: Dedicated to the art of gardening, this series is an examination into the ways humans corral nature
The Cultivation Series: Dedicated to the art of gardening, this series is an examination into the ways humans corral nature
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The Cultivation Series: Dedicated to the art of gardening, this series is an examination into the ways humans corral nature
The Cultivation Series: Dedicated to the art of gardening, this series is an examination into the ways humans corral nature
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The Cultivation Series: Dedicated to the art of gardening, this series is an examination into the ways humans corral nature
The Cultivation Series: Dedicated to the art of gardening, this series is an examination into the ways humans corral nature
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The Cultivation Series: Dedicated to the art of gardening, this series is an examination into the ways humans corral nature
The Aquaculture Series: A look at fish farming in Croatia
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The Aquaculture Series: A look at fish farming in Croatia
The Aquaculture Series: A look at fish farming in Croatia
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The Aquaculture Series: A look at fish farming in Croatia
The Aquaculture Series: A look at fish farming in Croatia
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The Aquaculture Series: A look at fish farming in Croatia
The Aquaculture Series: A look at fish farming in Croatia
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The Aquaculture Series: A look at fish farming in Croatia
The Coal Mine Series: This incredible portrait of modern coal mining was captured from a gas-balloon ride in 2016
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The Coal Mine Series: This incredible portrait of modern coal mining was captured from a gas-balloon ride in 2016
The Coal Mine Series: This incredible portrait of modern coal mining was captured from a gas-balloon ride in 2016
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The Coal Mine Series: This incredible portrait of modern coal mining was captured from a gas-balloon ride in 2016
The Coal Mine Series: This incredible portrait of modern coal mining was captured from a gas-balloon ride in 2016
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The Coal Mine Series: This incredible portrait of modern coal mining was captured from a gas-balloon ride in 2016
The Coal Mine Series: This incredible portrait of modern coal mining was captured from a gas-balloon ride in 2016
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The Coal Mine Series: This incredible portrait of modern coal mining was captured from a gas-balloon ride in 2016
The Coal Mine Series: This incredible portrait of modern coal mining was captured from a gas-balloon ride in 2016
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The Coal Mine Series: This incredible portrait of modern coal mining was captured from a gas-balloon ride in 2016
The Botanical Series: A look at reforestation tree nurseries in Germany where young trees are cultivated
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The Botanical Series: A look at reforestation tree nurseries in Germany where young trees are cultivated
The Botanical Series: A look at reforestation tree nurseries in Germany where young trees are cultivated
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The Botanical Series: A look at reforestation tree nurseries in Germany where young trees are cultivated
The Botanical Series: A look at reforestation tree nurseries in Germany where young trees are cultivated
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The Botanical Series: A look at reforestation tree nurseries in Germany where young trees are cultivated
The Botanical Series: A look at reforestation tree nurseries in Germany where young trees are cultivated
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The Botanical Series: A look at reforestation tree nurseries in Germany where young trees are cultivated
The Quarry Series: Open pit mining is the way most raw materials for construction are gathered from the ground
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The Quarry Series: Open pit mining is the way most raw materials for construction are gathered from the ground
The Quarry Series: Open pit mining is the way most raw materials for construction are gathered from the ground
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The Quarry Series: Open pit mining is the way most raw materials for construction are gathered from the ground
The Quarry Series: Open pit mining is the way most raw materials for construction are gathered from the ground
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The Quarry Series: Open pit mining is the way most raw materials for construction are gathered from the ground
The Quarry Series: Open pit mining is the way most raw materials for construction are gathered from the ground
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The Quarry Series: Open pit mining is the way most raw materials for construction are gathered from the ground
The Quarry Series: Open pit mining is the way most raw materials for construction are gathered from the ground
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The Quarry Series: Open pit mining is the way most raw materials for construction are gathered from the ground
The Quarry Series: Open pit mining is the way most raw materials for construction are gathered from the ground
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The Quarry Series: Open pit mining is the way most raw materials for construction are gathered from the ground
The Toxic Water Series: This series examines the toxic consequences of coal mining. By mining lignite out of the ground, for which the groundwater is lowered, minerals like pyrite or marcasite come into contact with oxygen and water. This results in iron hydroxide and sulfate, which lead to discoloration of the water
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The Toxic Water Series: This series examines the toxic consequences of coal mining. By mining lignite out of the ground, for which the groundwater is lowered, minerals like pyrite or marcasite come into contact with oxygen and water. This results in iron hydroxide and sulfate, which lead to discoloration of the water
The Toxic Water Series: This series examines the toxic consequences of coal mining. By mining lignite out of the ground, for which the groundwater is lowered, minerals like pyrite or marcasite come into contact with oxygen and water. This results in iron hydroxide and sulfate, which lead to discoloration of the water
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The Toxic Water Series: This series examines the toxic consequences of coal mining. By mining lignite out of the ground, for which the groundwater is lowered, minerals like pyrite or marcasite come into contact with oxygen and water. This results in iron hydroxide and sulfate, which lead to discoloration of the water
The Toxic Water Series: This series examines the toxic consequences of coal mining. By mining lignite out of the ground, for which the groundwater is lowered, minerals like pyrite or marcasite come into contact with oxygen and water. This results in iron hydroxide and sulfate, which lead to discoloration of the water
30/39
The Toxic Water Series: This series examines the toxic consequences of coal mining. By mining lignite out of the ground, for which the groundwater is lowered, minerals like pyrite or marcasite come into contact with oxygen and water. This results in iron hydroxide and sulfate, which lead to discoloration of the water
The Toxic Water Series: This series examines the toxic consequences of coal mining. By mining lignite out of the ground, for which the groundwater is lowered, minerals like pyrite or marcasite come into contact with oxygen and water. This results in iron hydroxide and sulfate, which lead to discoloration of the water
31/39
The Toxic Water Series: This series examines the toxic consequences of coal mining. By mining lignite out of the ground, for which the groundwater is lowered, minerals like pyrite or marcasite come into contact with oxygen and water. This results in iron hydroxide and sulfate, which lead to discoloration of the water
The Tulip Series: Every year Dutch farmers grow two billion tulips. They all bloom for a few weeks in April and May and nearly 1,000 different colors and cultivars are bred
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The Tulip Series: Every year Dutch farmers grow two billion tulips. They all bloom for a few weeks in April and May and nearly 1,000 different colors and cultivars are bred
The Tulip Series: Every year Dutch farmers grow two billion tulips. They all bloom for a few weeks in April and May and nearly 1,000 different colors and cultivars are bred
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The Tulip Series: Every year Dutch farmers grow two billion tulips. They all bloom for a few weeks in April and May and nearly 1,000 different colors and cultivars are bred
The Tulip Series: Every year Dutch farmers grow two billion tulips. They all bloom for a few weeks in April and May and nearly 1,000 different colors and cultivars are bred
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The Tulip Series: Every year Dutch farmers grow two billion tulips. They all bloom for a few weeks in April and May and nearly 1,000 different colors and cultivars are bred
The Tulip Series: Every year Dutch farmers grow two billion tulips. They all bloom for a few weeks in April and May and nearly 1,000 different colors and cultivars are bred
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The Tulip Series: Every year Dutch farmers grow two billion tulips. They all bloom for a few weeks in April and May and nearly 1,000 different colors and cultivars are bred
The Farmland Series: A look at farmland during winter in the Allgaeu Alps, a pre-alpine region in Germany. These open landscapes become dusted with white snow leaving only the human farming traces to stand out
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The Farmland Series: A look at farmland during winter in the Allgaeu Alps, a pre-alpine region in Germany. These open landscapes become dusted with white snow leaving only the human farming traces to stand out
The Farmland Series: A look at farmland during winter in the Allgaeu Alps, a pre-alpine region in Germany. These open landscapes become dusted with white snow leaving only the human farming traces to stand out
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The Farmland Series: A look at farmland during winter in the Allgaeu Alps, a pre-alpine region in Germany. These open landscapes become dusted with white snow leaving only the human farming traces to stand out
The Farmland Series: A look at farmland during winter in the Allgaeu Alps, a pre-alpine region in Germany. These open landscapes become dusted with white snow leaving only the human farming traces to stand out
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The Farmland Series: A look at farmland during winter in the Allgaeu Alps, a pre-alpine region in Germany. These open landscapes become dusted with white snow leaving only the human farming traces to stand out
The Farmland Series: A look at farmland during winter in the Allgaeu Alps, a pre-alpine region in Germany. These open landscapes become dusted with white snow leaving only the human farming traces to stand out
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The Farmland Series: A look at farmland during winter in the Allgaeu Alps, a pre-alpine region in Germany. These open landscapes become dusted with white snow leaving only the human farming traces to stand out

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."

The Coal Mine Series: This incredible portrait of modern coal mining was captured from a gas-balloon ride in 2016
The Coal Mine Series: This incredible portrait of modern coal mining was captured from a gas-balloon ride in 2016

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 Tulip Series: Every year Dutch farmers grow two billion tulips. They all bloom for a few weeks in April and May and nearly 1,000 different colors and cultivars are bred
The Tulip Series: Every year Dutch farmers grow two billion tulips. They all bloom for a few weeks in April and May and nearly 1,000 different colors and cultivars are bred

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.

The Botanical Series: A look at reforestation tree nurseries in Germany where young trees are cultivated
The Botanical Series: A look at reforestation tree nurseries in Germany where young trees are cultivated

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.

Sources: Tom Hegen, Instagram

1 comment
Don Duncan
"...the order of humanity with the chaos of nature." Nature is 100% ordered, human endeavors, not so much. It is a misunderstanding of philosophy, e.g., metaphysics/epistemology, that translates ignorance into chaos. Those who do not understand that "what is, must be", will assume if they can't understand nature, nature must be chaotic. This fundamental mistake leads to unfounded arrogance. Lack of understanding is mistaken for inherent chaos, a metaphysical impossibility. There is the known, the unknown, and that's it. The "unknowable" is not possible. It is an oxymoron. If something is unknowable what evidence of it could be known? No evidence, no proof, a bogus concept.