Drone Distortions: Manipulated Landscapes Warp and Bend Upon Themselves

Gazing at any one of these stretched-out, gravity-defying landscape photos, you feel like you’re at the pinnacle of a rollercoaster, about to zoom down to ground level. Except instead of being elevated on an artificial track, you’re on flat ground, positioned at the high end of a nearly 90-degree angle with no care for gravity. Turkish artist Aydin Büyüktas warps American landscapes, nearly doubling them in half to show multiple perspectives at once.

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A continuation of the ‘Flatlands’ series, which previously saw similar manipulations of urban Turkey, the images draw on a satirical sci-fi novella by Edwin Abbot entitled ‘Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions.’ To create the images, Büyüktas flies drones over his chosen setting to capture aerial images and then uses 3D software to stitch the images together.

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The scenes chosen for Flatlands II include the pits of mines, desolate desert roads, junkyards, train yards, farms, bridges and empty parking lots. Büyüktas flew his camera-equipped quadcopter total of about 10,000 miles to capture thousands of photos. The finished series required about two months of planning, a month of photography and many more months of digital composition.

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“We live in places that most of the time don’t draw our attention, places that transform our memories, places that the artist gives another dimension; where the perceptions that generally crosses our minds will be demolished and new ones will arise,” says the artist. “These works aim to leave the viewer alone with a surprising visuality ironic as well, multidimensional romantic point of view.”