Stunning Aerial Photos of Namibia’s Desert Landscape Look Like Abstract Paintings

Aerial Photo of Namibia by Leah Kennedy

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.

On a trip to Namibia, photographer Leah Kennedy shot a series of abstract aerial photographs of the landscape.

Aerial Photo of Namibia by Leah Kennedy Aerial Photo of Namibia by Leah Kennedy Aerial Photo of Namibia's Landscape by Leah Kennedy Aerial Photo of Namibia's Landscape by Leah Kennedy

“The vastness of the landscape reminded me of how small we are in this universe but also reminded me of our impact on our environment.”

Aerial Photo of Namibia's Landscape by Leah Kennedy Abstract Aerial Photography by Leah Kennedy Aerial Photo of Namibia by Leah Kennedy Abstract Aerial Photography by Leah Kennedy

Leah Kennedy: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Leah Kennedy.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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