Take to the skies and there surely will be some amazing views to behold. 50-year-old Klaus Leidorf knows this fact all too well. The German photographer is preceded by his reputation for his magnificent aerial shots, taken from the window of his own aircraft. What is even more amazing is that he goes on these photo expeditions solo, where he is also the pilot of the Cessna 172 plane. He uses all limbs to both fly and take photographs, steering the small plane with his knees. Talk about multi-tasking!
Leidorf mused about these twin passions, “Ever since I was a young boy I liked to take photos. Now I do it from the air,” he said. And who can blame him? “I’m glad to have this overview of things on the earth,” he said in a recent interview.
No doubt the world around us is replete and abundant with stunning vistas and panoramas. However, get high up there in the wild blue yonder and you will start to see incredibly beautiful patterns in the landscape that are simply impossible to discern when on the ground.
Leidorf beautifully and cleverly captures these unusual perspectives of the land in a collection of stunning overhead photographs that he simply calls Aerial Archaeology. Armed with with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Leidorf traverses Germany on the Cessna 172 to show the different ways people have altered the landscape into shapes and patterns that look like deliberate abstract art.
Photography is a hobby that dates back to 1989 for Leidorf who still remembers the difficulties he had with his old Contax camera. The new technologies like image stabilization in his Canon EOS 5D with 24-105mm f/4 and 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lenses allow him to be more creative. He also looks forward to these short trips as he finds tranquility while up in the air. “When I’m flying and see things from above, I don’t care anymore about the small things. It gives me peace.”
See his series called Aerial Archaeology here.