Interstates may seem a natural part of the American landscape, but the drone’s-eye view reveals the truth of how highways were laid atop the earlier landscape. I like the convergence of the headlights along both the country road and I-64, like two different eras running to a shared future.
Equus Run, a Concert, and Margaux
Last Wednesday, I showed you the light trails of concertgoers leaving Equus Run Vineyards. Today, I bring you a bird’s eye view of the same moments. In the distance, Margaux is quiet for the evening; in the midground, car headlights bounce off the grapes; in the foreground, light trails highlight the bridge and the road through the trees.
Kirk Douglas Hall
Colton, New York’s hydroelectric dam brings together dark, deep, deceptively passive water on one side and a raging torrent on the other. It’s perhaps a useful metaphor for the experience of preparing to leave a place one has lived for a decade. Visiting sites like this is also a reminder that sometimes I avoid exploring the interesting places near me until I’m preparing to leave the area; something analogous happened near the end of my sabbatical.
Kentucky Paddocks and the Sky Beyond
Too Many Ponies at Sunset
Old and New Kentucky
Rays from the Barn
Drones open up all kinds of new perspectives, but these vantages don’t always have to be extreme or dramatic. The equivalent height of an aerial work platform presents just the correct geometry to get these rays from the setting sun to explode from the roof of a recently renovated barn outside Lexington, Kentucky.
Dry Paths and Trails
Rain brings spontaneous desert symmetry breaking: some areas become rivers and streams, while others stay high and dry. La Quinta Cove brings hiking trails into this equation. Looking high over the landscape, those trails and dry streambeds may be hard to distinguish—until the rain comes. In the distance, just above the tan tanks on the left of the image, the Salton Sea serves as a reminder of how water and the desert interact.
Desert Until the Valley Floor
Flying is Easier Than Hiking
The path at right is a fairly treacherous, dusty way up to the top of this hill; it’s the one I took last year to capture images like this one. Flying to the top with my drone is, by comparison, a bit less strenuous.
Horses at Home
Bird Pilgrim to the Tetrahedron
My final photographic adventure of 2022 felt fittingly fell at dusk and felt like an achievement: flying my drone at the Salton Sea’s Bombay Beach, capturing the unique sculptures and setting.
Seeing that little wading bird approaching this tetrahedral sculpture seems a bit metaphorical for humans approaching our own futures: Coming up to something big and interesting and completely beyond our ability to properly predict/explain. Here’s to 2023!
Agriculture in Thermal
Night Arrives Above Empire Polo Club
I guess I’m still discovering new tricks up the DJI Mini 3 Pro’s sleeve. I’ve never managed to create a panorama (much less one looking up) from drone images before, but this massive shot of the sunset over the San Jacinto Mountains has changed all of that. The pink clouds arc above and the Empire Polo Club (home of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival) spreads across the foreground.
(You’ll definitely want to click through for full resolution on this one.)