Home / EnvironmentArtistic Aerial Photos Reveal the Chilling Industrial Scars Created on Earth by Man

Artistic Aerial Photos Reveal the Chilling Industrial Scars Created on Earth by Man

j henry fair aerial photography industrial waste

Oil. Fort McMurray, Canada. Photo: J. Henry Fair

American photographer and environmental activist J. Henry Fair captures disastrously beautiful aerial photographs of Earth for his series, Industrial Scars. In reality, these stunning images document the toll that our rampant consumerism is taking on our environment. By peeling back the layers of what it takes to produce the modern luxuries we take for granted, Fair forces us to confront the price we are paying for convenience.

Fair's book, Industrial Scars: The Hidden Costs of Consumptionis a compelling work where the photographer's images are accompanied by text written by award-winner science writer Lewis Smith. Smith helps break down each industry, for instance, explaining in detail how we move from burning coal to producing electricity and what effects it has on the planet. Coupled together, they empower readers with the knowledge to make more informed decisions.

“I hope my pictures will help people realize the power they have as consumers,” Fair shares with us via email. “Everything that we purchase has a hidden cost to our planetary life support systems that is usually not included in the purchase price. Our situation is dire, but we can all affect it by changing our buying habits, which will force the producers to change their methods, and by demanding that our governments enact regulations to protect our children.”

j henry fair aerial photography industrial waste

Aluminum. Darrow, Louisiana, USA. Photo: J. Henry Fair

Fair shot his work from small planes, supported by Southwings and Lighthawk. Pushing himself creatively, he came away with a series of photographs in which industrial waste is twisted into abstract beauty. Coal appears as thick daubs of oil paint across a blue canvas in Louisiana, and a colorful kaleidoscope of colorful rivers is actually a sign of aluminum pollution.

“In developing this series, the essential challenge was to make a compelling image that moves viewers emotionally, but with those many layers of information and relevance available to anyone that wanted to dig deeper. Beauty without meaning is decoration, context without beauty is pedantic.”

With Industrial Scars, environmental activist and photographer J. Henry Fair asks consumers to understand the price of modern convenience. 

j henry fair aerial photography industrial waste

Coal. New Roads, Louisiana, USA. Photo: J. Henry Fair

j henry fair aerial photography industrial waste

Copper. Rio Tinto, Spain. Photo: J. Henry Fair

j henry fair aerial photography industrial waste

Coal. Nowe Czarnowo, Poland. Photo: J. Henry Fair

j henry fair aerial photography industrial waste

Fracking. Springville, Pennsylvania, USA. Photo: J. Henry Fair

j henry fair aerial photography industrial waste

Aluminum. Gramercy, Louisiana, USA. Photo: J. Henry Fair

j henry fair aerial photography industrial waste

Food. Luling, Louisiana, USA. Photo: J. Henry Fair

j henry fair aerial photography industrial waste

Oil. Gulf of Mexico, USA. Photo: J. Henry Fair

Watch the photographer explain the concept behind his striking aerial photography series.

j henry fair industrial scars

J. Henry Fair: Website | Facebook
Papadakis Publishing: Website
h/t: [
Twisted Sifter]

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by J. Henry Fair.

Related Articles:

Photorealistic Pastel Drawings of Landscapes Affected by Climate Change

Eye-Opening Photos Capture the Terrifying Beauty of Melting Polar Ice Caps

Interview: Photographer Travels to Alaska and Discovers Polar Bears Living With No Snow

Mermaid Swims in a Sea of 10,000 Bottles to Spotlight Plastic Pollution

Photographer Documents Chemically Polluted Landscapes and Soaks Film in the Same Toxins

Want to become a My Modern Met Member?

Find out how by becoming a Patron. Check out the exclusive rewards, here.

Popular On The Web

From Our Partners