All images by Stefano Gardel. Used with Creative Commons Permission.
There are very few things that captivate landscape photographers like the sunset; and Stefano Gardel has captured that pretty perfectly in his series “Neon Deserts.” The series, which is shot out in deserts in California, has a haunting look to it. It’s very easy for a photographer or a viewer to imagine that someone or something would be moving about. But instead, that isn’t really the case. What you see in the compositions are loneliness and a harsh life.
Stefano’s photos are masterfully composed not only according to the traditional rules of compositions but also in terms of color. Neon Deserts features layer upon layer of color and tonality building from smooth textures onto the rough surface of the terrain. Additionally, the lighting tends to change rather dramatically as you get closer to the surface. The scenes are cropped in a way to seem almost cinematic–which is part of the appeal of the entire series. In fact, I almost expect them to be cinemagraphs.
Combine all that with some of the best pillars of photography including exact positioning of the horizon and color usage and you’ve got yourself one heck of a beautiful photo project.
The entire project seems very surreal as getting pink skies like this are pretty tough to get though they surely are possible. In fact, Mars is said to have a creamy pink sky overall.
Of course, there is also a bit of photoshopping and Lightroom processing involved. However, in today’s day and age it would be difficult to not consider something like this actually being possible. There are talks of us terraforming Mars these days since the Earth is nearing an end due to Global Warming caused by the problems that humans have made.
Be sure to check out the project on Stefano’s Behance page.