Pictures from Above

In the following pages, aerial photographer Tom Hegen (b. 1991) flies us over the rolling hills of the Palouse region, an area of the American northwest that spans over 3,000 miles. Endless green fields fill every inch of these frames. At a quick glance, the landscape looks likes the folds of moss-coloured fabric, but, on closer inspection, subtle whorls left by tractor trails reveal that humans have cultivated the land. “The fertile soil is a result of ancient volcanic activity and erosion over thousands of years” explains Hegen. “These crops help diversify the agricultural landscape and provide economic stability to the region.” The German lens-based artist devotes his practice to highlighting the impact people have left on the Earth, revealing acres of copper mines, farmed land and golf courses. These images draw our attention to human intervention on a large-scale, illuminating the realities of biodiversity loss.

All images: Tom Hegen, from The Palouse Series, (2021).