The Coral Reef Series. (Photo: Courtesy of White Paper By)
Tom Hegen is a German photographer whose photographs show the impact of man on nature. Very aware of climate change, Hegen tries to show how the earth’s surface has changed after it has been modified by man. His photographs are aerial and many of them look like abstract paintings, as Hegen applies graphic design techniques to his photographs to give them a unique aesthetic. He has two books in which he exposes his work, Habitat and Airports. We spoke to Tom Hegen to find out more about his work.
When did you start taking pictures?
I started with classic landscape photography in 2010 with wide panoramas, close-ups, medium and background compositions, looking for the perfect lighting. But I soon realized that those sweetened shots did not represent their real environment.
I started to question the term landscape as part of the idea of landscape photography. Land is a word of Germanic origin and the roots of the suffix scape, from the German schaffen refers to the verb shaping. As landscaping refers to an activity that modifies the visual characteristics of an area. As a consequence, I began to see landscape photography as a process of documenting places influenced by man rather than showing pure and pristine nature.
What motivated you to take landscape photographs?
I lived in New Zealand for a year and spent a lot of time outdoors. Coming from a place as populated as Europe, it was to discover what intact nature really was and that was what I wanted …
This article originally appeared on The HuffPost and has been updated.