Assignment 1 – VIS15

Yann Arthus-Bertrand shooting from a Helicopter

Yann Arthus-Bertrand shooting from a Helicopter

Yann Arthus-Bertrand (b. 1946) is deemed to be a master aerial photographer and ecologist. He specialises in taking photographs of our planet from the air. These images are considered to be innovative and a signature of his photographic style. His exhibitions are accessible and tactile and each photograph has an accompanying narration that is designed to draw our attention to “our connectedness” with one another.

Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Bertrand takes these photographs in helicopters after several months of scouting and setting up. His numerous books have won a number of awards, but he is perhaps most famous for his “Earth from Above” photo essay which has sold more than 3 million copies worldwide.  This epic masterpiece was ten years in the making, and according to TED (2009) he “seeks to uncover the story behind the landscape”.

Worker Resting on Cotton Bales

Worker Resting on Cotton Bales

Image courtesy of Earth from Above (Arthus-Bertrand, n.d)

One of the most striking things about Arthus-Bertrand’s work is his use of patterns and symmetry. He applies these facets to many of his photos and this gives us (the viewer) an opportunity to see familiarity in something that is intrinsically unfamiliar. The concept of viewing our planet and our lives from a God-like perspective is alien to us, but the patterns that emerge are soothing and recognisable.

Rugs in Morocco

Rugs in Morocco

Image courtesy of Earth from Above (Arthus-Bertrand, n.d)

Another noticeable trait in his aerial work is the use of similar colours, with contrasting bolder and stronger colours being used as leading lines. These lines draw your eyes in specific directions to follow the image in the way the photographer wants you to.

Sheraton Beach

Sheraton Beach

Image courtesy of Earth from Above (Arthus-Bertrand, n.d)

How you view the image is directed by the way he has set up the angle of the photo along with the way it is composited.

Palais-Royale, Paris

Palais-Royale, Paris

Image courtesy of Earth from Above (Arthus-Bertrand, n.d)

Arthus-Bertrand uses his aerial theme well, evoking a sense of mysticism and wonder. Because we view our everyday world from the perspective of our horizon, the photographer is able to communicate the ‘sameness’ within all our worlds and show us a beauty we would normally be unaware of.

Bibliography

Arthus-Bertrand, Y. (n.d). Earth from Above  Retrieved 3/9/2010, from http://www.yannarthusbertrand2.org/

Eventbrite. (2010). Infrastructure Academy’s HOME  Retrieved 3/9/10, from http://www.eventbrite.com/event/532120587

TED. (2009). Speakers Yann Arthus-Bertrand: Photographer  Retrieved 3/9/10, from http://www.ted.com/speakers/yann_arthus_bertrand.html

Telerama.fr. (2009). Yann-Arthus Bertrand : “Je suis tombé de haut”  Retrieved 3/9/10, from http://television.telerama.fr/television/yann-arthus-bertrand-je-suis-tombe-de-haut,43730.php

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