Paul Hoelen guides you through the process of getting yourself up in the air to capture incredible aerial images, using his Aerial Abstracts series to illustrate his explanation.
There’s something about taking to wing, lifting off the ground, and leaving the plane that you normally travel on that allows you to create a whole new perspective and relationship with the world. Your view is broadened both literally and figuratively; my visual mind feels revitalized, inspired, and refreshed every time I have the privilege to experience flight.
All of the images in my Aerial Abstracts series were taken in West Australia, where the landscape is so amazingly flat for such vast distances that many of its features and characteristics are only truly revealed from the air. The colour palette and topography are so different from those of my home in Tasmania that I can’t help but be fascinated, and I keep coming back for more. As you might observe, I’m very drawn to the more abstract interpretations that I can entice from an aerial viewpoint, using colour, texture, and graphical constituents, in particular.
Quite topically, many of these images capture resource-driven practices in West Australia that take place in restricted-access areas that are generally hidden from view. Taking to the air unveils these changed lands, which most would never see, and allows me to interpret and explore both their impact and their hidden beauty. I am currently putting together a powerful exhibition with two of my favourite Australian aerial photographers, Sheldon Pettit and Scott McCook, entitled Altered Lands,based entirely on this concept.