Trippy Drone Aerials Make the Earth Look Like a Roller Coaster
Aydin Büyüktaş’s photographs are a bit like the first plunge on a rollercoaster. The scene plummets away from you, leaving you disoriented yet giddy and just a bit unsettled as you try to make sense of just what you’re seeing.
The Turkish photographer uses a drone and some clever digital trickery to warp Istanbul’s highways, markets, and soccer fields in the most surreal manner. The scenes dip down and then rise sharply, an effect that is both dizzying and exhilarating. Büyüktaş says the images in Flatland make him “feel like I am dreaming.” Others may feel like they are flying.
Büyüktaş, 44, credits his love of science fiction with inspiring the series. As a child, he devoured classics by the likes of H.G. Wells and Isaac Asimov, and later came across Edwin Abbot’s satire Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. The idea that he could invent his own fantasy world was irresistible. “Who wouldn’t want to create surreal places that he [or] she dreamed [about] while reading science fiction?” he says.
New Mosque, Istanbul
He set about doing so in early 2015 with the help of a drone. Büyüktaş is guarded about the process and fiercely protective of the “little secrets” that go into it. When he selects a location, he will render it in 3-D using drafting software. This allows him to “explore” the scene by placing virtual cameras to determine the best vantage points. Then he’ll deploy a drone to get the exact shots he’s mapped. Finally, he painstakingly stitches the frames together in Photoshop to create the composite image. The entire process can take up to a week.
The images offer an adrenaline rush of a tour through Istanbul’s rich urban landscape, from the white domes of the 561-year-old Grand Bazaar and the towering minarets of the 350-year-old New Mosque to the much younger skate parks, bus stations and sports arenas. The undulating perspective gives already jaw-dropping sites an extra bit of magic.
Büyüktaş plans to continue the project in other countries, like Germany, England, China and the US. For him, it’s all about seeing the world in new and surprising ways. “We live in places that, most of the time, don’t draw our attention,” he says, “places the artist [can] give another dimension [to].”