We see “from farm to table” documentary photography all the time, but how many of us have thought about “from quarry to city”? In a nutshell, this is what the brilliant set of aerial photographs by Munich-based photographer and designer Tom Hegen tell us about. In The Quarry Series, he shows us what the building blocks of our cities look like from above, revealing the surprising abstract beauty of open pit mining quarries in the process.
For this project, Tom takes us to the quarries of Germany with the initial goal of showing what the raw materials used to build our cities look like. “For the construction of growing cities and infrastructure a huge amount of raw materials [is] needed. In order to meet the demand for raw materials, we have developed various methods for mining and processing them out of the ground,” he says on the project description.
In some of the photos, the presence of mining equipment, structures, trucks, and machinery give away what we’re really looking at. But in many others, the colors and textures seem to make abstract paintings or mixed media artworks out of each location. This interesting and unique perspective definitely shows us that there’s beauty (and art) everywhere, even in something as seemingly boring and sterile as mining spots and quarries. All you need is a clever idea (and a good vantage point) to uncover where it happens.
Even more impressive is the fact that The Quarry Series is just one of Tom’s brilliant projects that reveals the world from a fascinating bird’s eye view. There’s no doubt he’s having a lot of fun doing these sets, using either a drone or flying over his chosen locations in a helicopter. Among the most interesting he has done so far include a Salt Series (my personal favorite), a Coal Mine Series, a Toxic Water Series, and an Ice Pattern Series. Everything is worth checking out, so make sure to visit his website and Behance portfolio.