All images © Bernhard Lang

Exploring Italy from above: Gridlocked on the beach of Adria

Bernhard Lang, a successful photographer based in Munich, Germany, has been taking to the skies as his dedication to abstract aerial shots reach fever pitch. 

Working with a camera for more than two decades despite admitting that he was a “late starter” after moving into photography at the age of 23, Lang has found the majority of his time spent hovering above in recent years as his intrigue continues to propel him into a direction that most wouldn’t even consider. 

His subject matter of tourism, industry, and transport on paper doesn’t evoke the strongest sense of individuality. Lang’s take on those subjects, however, enters a whole dimension of its own. In an era that has sustainability, eco-awareness and the relationship between human and nature at the forefront of ecological battles, Lang was named the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards’ Travel Photographer of the Year for his project ‘Aerial Views Adria’. It was this work, selected ahead of the other 87,000 entries to the professional competition for a series called his commitment to planning and execution rewarded in spectacular fashion.

Hanging out of a helicopter in August 2014, Lang flew above and between Ravenna and Rimini, Italy, to capture unusual yet fascinating series of images. “I have always been fascinated by the vistas outside the window during usual passenger flights,” Lang said in an interview with Design Boom. “I remember being particularly captivated by snowy landscapes during a passenger flight from Munich to Tokyo over Siberia, and the vast deserts I saw on another passenger flight to South Africa,” he added.

“It was very impressive to see these structures from 10,000 meters above… the landscapes, the huge rivers and structures and patterns in the deserts. These sceneries often reminded me of abstract paintings.”

With the abstract in his mind, Lang armed himself with his medium format camera and pointed down to the earth below him at a 90-degree angle. Here, from 1000 metres in the air, is what he captured:

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