Australian photographer Leah Kennedy often focuses on aerial photography that allows her to create abstract imagery of well-worn places. During a photo safari to Namibia, Kennedy took to the skies and the results are breathtaking. She captured the arid landscape of the sub-Saharan country in her own unique way, showing the diverse beauty of Namibia.
Kennedy is often inspired by the patterns, textures, and geological formations that appear when flying, each of which provides her an opportunity to get creative. “I have always been interested in abstraction and duality in photography and aerial photography affords me both of these qualities,” Kennedy shares with My Modern Met. “The resulting images are, at least temporarily, removed from their reality they take on different forms and in some cases appear to be of microscopic origins.”
With an airplane at her disposal, Kennedy was able to travel to different areas of the country, from the Fish River Canyon to the Skeleton Coast. In several images, the rusty red dunes of Sossusvlei appear as a surreal environment filled with haunting abstract forms. Kennedy uses light and shadow to great effect in the series, creating a duality and ambiguity that seems at once familiar and foreign.
As viewers, the location being documented is not always readily apparent, which forces the inspection of the colors and forms. This leads to an appreciation of the work for its beauty alone, without preconceived notions of having to “see” a specific place. By marveling at the abstractions, it’s possible to revel in the power of nature and its ability to produce otherworldly environment.