Vibrant Aerial Photos of U.S. Industrial Wastelands

May 28, 2013 | Julia Dawidowicz

When photographer David Maisel chooses industry-blemished landscapes to shoot aerially, he considers not only aesthetics — he is partial to the “bizarre or surreal”-looking — but the story behind the location and its relation to photography itself.

“I’m teasing apart different aspects of what compromises photography,” Maisel tells Wired UK. “To print photos, we need paper, so I’ve looked at logging sites. The printer colours are all pigment based — so to be looking at tungsten mines makes a lot of sense.”

His collection of aerial landscapes, which he photographs from a Cessna airplane using only an SLR camera, can be seen in his new book, Black Maps: American Landscape and the Apocalyptic. The “Apocalyptic” part refers to humanity’s collective fucking-over of our environment, but damn if it doesn’t look pretty from far away.