Anyone can take photographs on land – artist Tommy Clarke takes his snaps from the sky! The 28-year-old photographer has become well-known for his unusual antics in the name of art, which include hanging out of a helicopter to get the perfect shot. His images capture everyday beauty which can be witnessed from above, but that we regularly miss down on the ground.
Clarke grew up in Bournemouth, Dorset, and spent many childhood days by the seaside. This inspired a fascination with the link between humans and the environment, in particular the sea. However, it wasn’t until spending some time in Sydney that the photographer was inspired to try his first ever aerial shoot over Bondi Beach: “I fell in love with the landscape and beach and wanted to put a new angle on my existing portfolio” he said.
Clarke uses Google Earth to scout out locations, and then hires helicopters and small planes to capture his unique perspective. He also loves vibrant colour, which can be seen clearly in his pictures: “Seeing colours from above is something else and capturing the swathes of colours, like paint on a canvas effectively, was what first drew me in to aerial photography.”
Over time his aerial work has grown more sophisticated, but eye-catching colour is still an integral part of each image.
His bestseller is a landscape shot from last summer overlooking the waters of St Tropez, in which the vivid blue of the Mediterranean contrasts with the yachts sprinked on top of it.
Clarke’s personal favourite photograph is ‘Rothko’, a picture of the salt lakes of San Francisco, named because of its resemblance to Mark Rothko’s famous abstract expressionist paintings. The snap took three years to plan and forms part of his forthcoming series ‘Salt’.
He uses a variety of cameras in his work, from vintage film cameras to DSLRs. His next project includes a massive rare polaroid camera, in which it took him two years to find all the parts for.
See more of his amazing work below!