“Aerials are surprisingly intimate, they make the world feel smaller.”
— Vincent Laforet
That’s how I felt when we were hovering over Sydney harbour a few days ago with Vincent Laforet who was hanging half out of the chopper like a man on a mission. A mission impossible only 2 years ago but with the emergence of LED technology used throughout the major cities of the world, it has given Vincent’s passion a new light. This mission is called Project AIR.
Vincent has wanted to photograph cities at night since he was a young boy. To do this he’s had to wait 27 years for the cities to get bright enough and camera technology to be advanced enough to capture this spectacle which happens every day after sunset. A street lamp looks singularly ordinary to us from the ground but from above, you can see the network of street lamps literally stitching the fabric of our society together. Project AIR seeks to demonstrate the borderless nature of our world and encourage our interconnectedness with one another.
Project AIR is sponsored by G-Technology, the makers of the lighting fast and robust storage equipment that Vincent relies on to ensure that he doesn’t lose any work. The drives look pretty sexy, I want the SSD G-Drive to store my own photos from the shoot. Life never repeats itself in the exact same way when you’re capturing images in high altitude. I got some insight into how real that is when I tried to capture some of my own shots sitting next to Vincent in the helicopter. I could not begin to imagine how dire it would feel to get a once in a lifetime shot, and then lose the file knowing you’ll never be able to replicate that shot again. After any aerial shoot, Vincent immediately downloads all the photos to multiple G-Drives and disburses the copies between team members for safe keeping. Good idea.
So far, Vincent has captured iconic cities including Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas and London, which has made AIR a huge viral Internet sensation, shared by tens of millions of people. Sydney was the most recent challenge. I can’t wait to see the official photos of Sydney and will certainly be purchasing a copy of his book when it gets released in October, 2015.