These aerial photographs offer a new perspective on nature — and of human impact

Jassen Todorov takes landscape photographs that look like nothing you’ve ever seen before. While his subjects are not unfamiliar (mountain views, winding rivers, empty deserts), his perspective is. A licensed pilot, Todorov photographs his landscapes from above, and his aerial photographs make the familiar look almost alien.

From above, you can see patterns in nature that you might otherwise miss. Streams emerging from a river branch into hundreds of miniature offshoots, looking like the root system of a tree, while the ocean waves become a multitude of white lines, bending around small islands and underwater rocks.

Todorov doesn’t limit himself to nature photography; he also captures aerial views of cities and industrial areas. The contrast between these photos and his natural landscapes vividly illustrates how humanity has impacted the world around us. The cityscapes are beautiful in their own way, but they are angular, metallic, and reflective, whereas the nature photographs embody a more organic style of organization. Even Todorov’s shot of an almond farm looks incredibly stark and linear compared to a natural forest, and in another photo, one can see the clean line where clearcutting has bitten into a natural landscape.

Todorov’s photographs give a glimpse into the world from a bird’s eye view, a perspective allows us to see waht sort of impact our activities down on land have on the broader environment. These photos are both a gift and a reminder what we have to lose.