Magazine article Geographical

Earthly Beauty

Magazine article Geographical

Earthly Beauty

Article excerpt

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German photographer Klaus D Francke has spent 30 years photographing the Earth from the air. He flies at heights of between 300 and 1,500 metres, largely in a Cessna 1-72, the world's best-selling aeroplane. Each flight is meticulously planned to catch a certain season, light, perspective or phenomenon. The result is a series of images that capture the patterns and colours of the Earth's natural and human activities--276 of which have been collected together in a stunning new book, Earth as Art, published by Bucher publications

Hundreds of sea birds rest on estuary sandbanks found along Iceland's longest river, Thjorsa. The river is fed by glacial meltwater and travels 230 kilometres from the central highlands to the Atlantic Ocean

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A pool of summer meltwater shines sky blue on Vantnajokull, Iceland's largest glacier. The intersecting crevasses that score the glacier indicate that a volcanic cone is situated beneath its surface

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Above: a flock of sheep, herded into an enclosure for the night in La Mancha, an arid but fertile elevated plateau in central Spain best known as the home of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra's fictional knight Don Quixote.The largest plain on the Iberian Peninsula, La Mancha has an average altitude of around 500-600 metres; Below: the dark-brown slashes of cultivated fields stand out distinctively against the red soil to the east ofWindhoek, Namibia. Heavy agricultural machinery has been used to carve deep furrows into the ground to help collect rainwater

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Above: salt and mineral production in the Sua Pan, part of the Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana. Ten thousand years ago, the area was a huge lake but now, only the salt deposits are left ('sua' is the Tswana word for 'salt'). The salt was once collected by hand by the local San people, but today, it's mined by the Sua Pan Soda Ash Company; Below: an artesian water source in the salt pans of Lake Frome, South Australia. Trapped below the surface between two impermeable layers of rock, the water is stored under pressure, escaping to the surface as soon as cracks or fissures appear in one of the layers

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Above: a glacier river near Sud'ursveit, west of the town of Hofn at the foot of the Vatnajokull glacier, Iceland. …

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