Aerial photography gives us an entirely new perspective and a new view of the world around us. I always find it exciting to see this new perspective, and so does Australian photographer Leah Kennedy. So, she took her gear and flew over vast landscapes of Namibia in a helicopter or a small aircraft. She played with the aerial view in search of abstraction, and this has resulted in some fascinating, painting-like images.
On her trip to Namibia, Leah had 2 cameras with her: a Nikon D810 and a Phase One IQ380. For these images, she primarily used the IQ380 with an 80mm f/2.8 Schneider Kreuznach lens. She didn’t use a drone for any of her photos, even though it was my first thought. All images were taken from either a Cessna plane or a helicopter, primarily with doors removed.
Leah explains that the possibilities and the variety of aerial photography are endless. You can see “the patterns, the textures, geological formations that appear out of this world,” she tells DIYP.
The sheer expanse of seemingly endless sand dunes in Sossusvlei through to the Skeleton Coast and the unbelievable geological formations in the Fish River Canyon are both visually mind-blowing. The vastness of the landscape reminded me of how small we are in this universe but also reminded me of our (humans) impact on our environment.
Leah says that she has always been interested in abstraction and duality in photography, and aerial photography lets her explore both of these qualities.
There is an element of interpretation and imagination that goes into finding and framing the images which is where that creative aspect also comes into it. The resulting images are, at least temporarily, removed from their reality they take on different forms and in some cases appear to be of microscopic origins. This ambiguity and departure from reality is what intrigues and inspires my work.