Aerial Photos Show Man-Made Industrial Scars As Abstract Art

Image by @J Henry Fair Photography / Facebook

J. Henry Fair is an American photographer and environmental activist who captures beautiful but chilling aerial photographs for his series, Industrial Scars. Those images look like objects of art but in fact show the toll our consumerism is taking on the nature. Fair tries to force the observer to confront the price we all are paying for the convenience we’ve so used to have at our disposal.

Fair has published a book called Industrial Scars: The Hidden Costs of Consumption, which shows the photographer’s images with detaled text by science writer Lewis Smith. Smith discusses the practices of specific industries and explains how humanity produces electricity by burning coal, for example, and how this affects the planet. Fair says the scientific background is really important for understanding the scale of the damage human civilization has done: according to him “beauty without meaning is decoration, and context without beauty is pedantic”.

Fair shoots his aerial photographs from small planes, with financial support from conservation non-profits Southwings and Lighthawk. Although he chose to present industrial waste as abstract beauty, he says this is not in any way intended to misrepresent the dangers for the nature from industrialization.