The vast landscape we tread upon is coated with a flux of shifting natural remnants & synthetic debris, daubed with alacrity by the ceaseless currents of wind & water, powers that largely resist the graspings of human control. The directional patterns of such forces as seen from afar, as well as providing us with information about the cyclic currents of Earth's macro systems, also allow us alternative conceptual understandings of the infintessimal scope between the major & the minor.
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I'd not been on many aeroplane flights for a 20th century guy, until I found myself in the 21st. Now my count is about 16, & although taking photos through the scratched & dirty windows of jetliners is not ideal for acheiving particularly decent technical quality, the opportunity to abstract visual morsels of the planets flesh in this way is something I relish.
All the images here are taken with a Fuji X100 which has a 23mm fixed lens & shoots almost silently, which means I can take as many photos as I want on a flight & bother no-one. All of the images in this post were taken over Africa during my flights between London & Ethiopia, encompassing deserts, plains & rivers, cities & towns, urban & agricultural landscapes & mountainous regions.
The deserts of Africa pose naked, ever shifting in composition, relentlessly whipped & brushed by the winds that carve their physiognomy. They are parted from beneath by rock & sliced meanderingly by rivers. Yet still, where there is water there will be life, & indeed there is much life patched about the waterways of the deserts. As is evident from the images shown, there are agricultural towns with urban infrastructure & occasionally solar power arrays. Roads can be seen spanning the vast tracts of deserted space too, familiar in their directional geometry. In some of the images it is also possible to see the partially covered ruins of abandoned structures, which may be modern, or could possibly date back hundreds or thousands of years.
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The flight I took traversed two northern African countries whilst bound for Addis Abeba, Ethiopia's capital city; Egypt, which is bordered by Libya to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the north, disputed Palestine/Israel to the east, as well as the Red Sea, & to the south Sudan, the country passed over before reaching the northern Ethiopian border. Sudan is bordered by (clockwise from the north) Egypt, the Red Sea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad & Libya. As you can see from the images below, contrary to often held beliefs in the UK that it is an inhospitable desert country, Ethiopia is, at least in some areas, green & fertile, with a richly diverse & dynamic landscape.
Some of the images in this weeks post are not colour-correct, as the windows in the 777 Dreamliner I took the photos through refract light in unusual ways, creating dreamy pink, green & yellow hues. I leave you with some cloudscapes taken over the Mediterranean Sea, just north of Egypt, split-tone processed, over which to meditate your next voyage of wonder.
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I am a freelance photographer specialising in performance arts.
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