Designs on the Land: Exploring America from the Air

Overview

"Mesmerizing....Look long enough and the obsession of photographer-pilot MacLean begins to resemble genius."—Los Angeles Times
The tradition of aerial photography arose from a keen nineteenth-century desire to see "the world in motion." Starting with Nadar's photographic balloon trips, airborne experimentation with landscapes and cityscapes continued through great photographers from Steichen to Burkhardt.
With Alex MacLean, we enter a different world. For thirty years, this ...
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New York, NY 2003 Trade paperback New. Trade paperback (US). Sewn binding. 367 p. Contains: Illustrations. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in ... Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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Overview

"Mesmerizing....Look long enough and the obsession of photographer-pilot MacLean begins to resemble genius."—Los Angeles Times
The tradition of aerial photography arose from a keen nineteenth-century desire to see "the world in motion." Starting with Nadar's photographic balloon trips, airborne experimentation with landscapes and cityscapes continued through great photographers from Steichen to Burkhardt.
With Alex MacLean, we enter a different world. For thirty years, this committed photographer has portrayed the history and evolution of the American land, from great desert spaces to agricultural patterns to city grids. A trained architect who is closely involved in landscape heritage protection issues, MacLean has set out to create a series of pictures that show and explain the universal history of town and countryside. What he has to say may be invigorating or alarming, but it always raises the issue of the landscape's future.
This new collection of exemplary photographs taken across the American landscape reflects MacLean's passionate interest in the effects of time, geological movements, shifting landscapes, redeployment, pollution, urban sprawl, and the overlapping of surfaces and activities. More than 400 color photographs reveal in a unique way the physical splendor of America: both the beauty of the ongoing inhabiting of the land and the potential for modern planning to create spectacular environments.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
One of the joys of flying across the American landscape on a clear day is the view from the window seat, a perspective that leaves travelers wishing they had a camera. MacLean does a marvelous job of documenting these images for less camera-savvy travelers, here providing more than 400 color photographs taken from the sky. In four essays, he offers a sharp perspective on what propels him to be an aerial photographer, encouraging us to rethink how we see our day-to-day environments. Natural and constructed landscapes all reveal their own beauty under MacLean's lens; what might be just another shopping mall resembles a flower from above, and subdivisions take on the shape of labyrinths. His work resembles Robert Cameron's, but MacLean looks directly down upon the landscape, and his images are more saturated with color. The fact that he rarely uses a filter and does not manipulate the images when he prints them makes the work even more remarkable. Suitable for public and academic libraries with strong photography collections; also for architecture collections, as the book concerns landscape architecture, "smart growth," and industrialization.-Sheila Devaney, Univ. of Georgia Libs., Athens Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780500284148
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson
  • Publication date: 4/19/2003
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Alex MacLean's books include Designs on the Land: Exploring America from the Air; Look at the Land: Aerial Reflections on America and, with James Corner, Taking Measures Across the American Landscape.
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