Aerial photography enables us to capture completely new and uncommon views. When we rise above any scene we discover completely new things. Still, the landscape continues to contain reflections, which are capable of rendering a sight far different from how it is in reality. Every reflection – which, in the classical sense, makes the picture more painterly – also detracts from its authenticity.

It is far from our habitual observing, orthogonal view is bit unusual view, but it makes us to rethink our everyday world, and sometimes to change our minds and approach.

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As we can see on the left side, light reflections cause the shades of the river to vary along a dazzling spectrum of white, light blue, and dark gray. But when we change the perspective bit more, and when we turn our camera in to the right angle.. We will see the landscape in completely new light, in its true nature. River is green, grass changes color from green to grey-blue, and we can see mud-patterns through shallow water in this marshland. And of course, beautiful sunlight is still present. The result will be mind-blowingly different.

Fishbone shaped muddy estuary

Besides the perspective, sometimes it is worth to change the light conditions, too. The first shot was taken in the morning, but we didn’t like the lights, so I went back there in the evening to capture this bizarre scene at 10:05 PM. Muddy riverbed of fishbone shaped streams in the middle of a small, but unique part of the salt marsh located at the end of the Betanzos Estuary, near Coruna, in northern Spain.

Estuary of River Affall

On the right side, you can see beautiful abstract formations. It is almost impossible to figure out what it is! But as we can see on the left side, it is a simple estuary. An Icelandic estuary, flowing through the black sand. Where the Affall River meets the Atlantic Ocean, there is a confluence of three colored tributaries that wind through various farmlands. Together they flow to the ocean across the black sand beach.

Phosphogypsum stack in Spain

These shots create real abstract paintings from the industrial waste. Located in the middle of the salty marshes, this dam, used for storing radioactive water, contains 120 million tonnes of phosphogypsum, a by-product in the manufacture of phosphate-based fertilizers. Textures at an abandoned pond used for the disposal and stacking of phosphogypsum with shallow, but highly toxic radioactive green water in Huelva, Southern Spain.

Mud volcano from Azerbaijan

This unnamed mud volcano, located in the middle of the Gobustan desert, looks like a big, 4 kilometer wide pancake. But from above… unseen otherworldly scene! Silvering crater displaying layers of eruptions from past decades. The crater of an unnamed mud volcano silvering, displaying layers of eruptions from past decades. The formation, roughly 5 km wide in diameter and 30 meters high, is flat and mostly covered by grass, lending contrast to the traces of fresh eruptions.

Marshland of Venice Lagoon

On the left side, you can see the view that pilots see from the most visited tourist side in the world. However, on the right side, you can see the reflectionless result delivered by the orthogonal view. Colorful grasses and swirling tidal channels on one of the 62 small islands in salt marsh of Lagoon Venice, which is the largest wetland in the Mediterranean Basin, Venice, Italy.

Melting icebergs floating in glacial lake

What tourist can see from the hillside, and what the orthogonal view can give us. Giant pieces of melting ice, remnants of the collapsing glacier, float motionlessly in the mud-colored brown glacier lake until they vanish forever.

Glacial river veins of Geirlandsá and Stjórm rivers

Such a big difference! Due to the water reflection, beauty of braided river streams is revealed only from above. Glacial river veins of Geirlandsá and Stjórm near Kirkjubaejarklaustur village, braiding their way through black volcanic sand, constantly creating new paths, intricately intertwined, and depositing a nutrients of various colors from melting glaciers.

Lava field leveled with mud

In some cases, the orthogonal perspective doesn’t deliver huge difference. Lava field leveled with mud from glacial meltwater delivered by Skaftá River, Iceland.

Destroyed salt lake Mirzaladi, Azerbaijan

The orthogonal view show us clear yellow colorized salt water and destroyed layers of mud by heavy trucks, collecting the salt leftovers. Traces of destruction along the almost empty, fully exploited natural salt lake at the end of the summer season on Lake Mirzaladi, in Azerbaijan.

Salina de la Tapa, Cadiz, Southern Spain

Mud volcano crater, Azerbaijan, Sixzahirli village

Rootless cones or pseudo volcanoes, Iceland, Hveragerdi area

Aragon, Burgo de Ebro, Spain

Harvested wheat leaves an abstract pattern reminiscent of antlers spreading through this hilly territory in this desert region, thanks to the outlines of former wetlands in Aragon, Burgo de Ebro, Spain.

Galicia, Northern Spain

In order to prevent dangerous leaks, bulldozers work on weekends and holidays, shoring up the dam where toxic waste from aluminium production is stored in Galicia, Northern Spain, near San Cibrao.

Andalucia, Southern Spain

Water leaks from collecting channel over the tidal plain, also traversed by livestock, in the salt marsh of Barbate. After decades of drought, grasses grow around small tidal streams near the sand dunes of Andalucia, Southern Spain.

Southern Iceland, near the town of Stokkseyri

Yellow sediments delivered from farmland by small streams mix with the vivid blue ocean among the rustic islands created by lava flows in Southern Iceland, near the town of Stokkseyri.

Cadiz Bay, Puerto Real, Southern Spain

Bizarre sand formation between beaches, muddy plains and marshes over a large estuary of Cadiz Bay, around salt marsh of Isla Trocadero created by action of the sea and fluvial sediments deposited over centuries.

Italy, Venice Lagoon, Lio Piccolo area

Lovely shapes made by tadal streams.

The Svínafell, Southern Iceland

The Svínafell, or “pigs glacier” in English, one of the tongues of the Vatnajökull Ice Cap, touches the moraine ridge in Southern Iceland.