Photographer Lukas Gawenda has been a landscape lover since he was 10 years old. And even though he’s photographed everything from US National Parks, to his home country of Germany, to the tiny worlds of macro photography, none of them quite match the majesty he captures when he takes to the skies over Iceland.
As with many landscape photographers, Gawenda tells us that his images are inspired by a love for nature and a desire to see it preserved. For him, this means presenting natural wonders, some of which have been photographed thousands upon thousands of times, in a new light.
This is how his series of aerial Icelandic landscapes was born, and even though this isn’t a new idea, the images he’s captured from the air above the picturesque country are fantastic, and speak to the experience he has taking these sorts of photos.
“Almost every year in August or September, we fly a Cessna through the Icelandic landscape.” Gawenda told us. “[Because] only from above do you begin to see certain colors, influenced by the angle and the sunlight.”
Some images are obviously aerial shots of a landscape, while others take on an abstract, painted quality as rivers carve impossibly smooth and colorful tracks through the land below:
“The red color in the rivers stems from the iron oxide, the yellow from the acidic bog soil and the blue from the glacial rivers,” he explains, “and together everything flows into a work of art as the shapes and colors combine.”
Here are just a few examples pulled from his Iceland from Above gallery:
Image credits: Photographs by Lukas Gawenda and used with permission