Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"Earth from Above" and Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Aiming to inspire people to think globally about sustainable living, photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand has been capturing unique views of our planet, seen from the sky, since 1994. He has produced an exhibit of over 150 4-ft. by 6-ft. prints which will be on display in New York City from May 1, 2009 to June 28, 2009. When completed in New York City, the "Earth from Above" exhibit will also move on to California in 2010.
I have displayed a bit of his magic below, but to view his complete work, you may visit some of the links I have given at the end of this post.

Waste from the copper mine at Chuquicamata, Chile. This giant scallop shell is made of earth. A crane deposits the earth in successive, slightly curved lines giving the appearance of sheets of sand lined up side by side. This earth is extracted with the copper, but it is separated from the ore by sieving. The metal is refined in the Chuquicamata foundry that, thanks to newly installed equipment, can now filter out 95 percent of the sulfur dioxide (SO2 ) and 97 percent of the arsenic that the process releases. (© Yann Arthus-Bertrand)

Mountainous countryside near Maelifellssandur, Myrdalsjökull Region, Iceland. Once the young lava fields of Iceland cool down, life begins anew little by little. Ice, wind and water flatten and carve out shapes to begin with, then, during the summer, bacteria, lichen and fungi prepare the soil for plants, in particular mosses which adapt to an environment which remains difficult. These plants colonise the most favourable sites and terrain little by little, forming a new ecosystem.
Yann Arthus-Bertrand)

Worker resting on bales of cotton, Thonakaha, Korhogo, Ivory Coast.
Cotton crops occupy approximately 335,000 square klilometers worldwide, and use nearly one quarter of all pesticides sold.
Yann Arthus-Bertrand)

About Yann Arthus-Bertrand:

Photographer, Filmmaker, Activist, Environmentalist

Born in 1946, Yann Arthus-Bertrand has been interested in the wilderness and animal world throughout his lifetime. Using a camera, he started to create a record of his observations and eventually discovered his gift: testifying through images.

In 1991, Yann became a photojournalist and founded "Altitude", the leading aerial photography agency in the world. Inspired by the link between humankind, wildlife and nature, he collaborated with the UNESCO to focus his vocation on a long-term documentary photography series: The Earth From Above, Wild Animals, Horses, and 365 Days.

As an activist convinced of the importance of sustainable development, his aerial photographs and accompanying texts request every individual to take note that we are all personally responsible for the future of our planet. To this end, with the Earth From Above series book release, Arthus-Bertrand saw the need to broadcast this call-to-action through a large-scale public art exhibition of this testimony. Premiering in Paris in 2000 to unprecedented success, the exhibition soon travelled to cities around the world to reach over 130 million visitors across every populated continent by 2008. The book would eventually sell millions of copies in over 21 languages.

By 2005, Arthus-Bertrand created the association GoodPlanet. This international NGO develops numerous projects whose shared objective is to educate about sustainable development and request individuals across every background, culture and border to think beyond the development of our planet and, instead, toward the future of all of its inhabitants.

Earth From Above, a 4-episode, 8-hour TV series then launched in 2007 and renewed for 2008, prompting Arthus-Bertrand to begin filming of Home (, a documentary-style feature film about the state of our planet and challenges facing us to protect it. Its simultaneous worldwide release is scheduled for June 5th, 2009 – World Environment Day.

Arthus-Bertrand was a member of the Academy of Fine Arts of the Institute of France in 2006. He is a knight of the Legion of Honour, an Officer of the Order of Agricultural Merit, and an Officer of the National Order of Merit. In 2007, Arthus-Bertrand helped Al Gore present his Academy Award-winning film, An Inconvenient Truth, to the French Parliament.

Yann's personal website: ››
Note: There is an English version for the website once you enter one of the links on the home page.
You may also view a collection of 38 photographs at

Photographs and captions all courtesy of Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

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