Stampeding horses, lonely desert roads, an iftar banquet – whatever you’re picturing when you think of these scenes, drone photography is sure to pull you up short. These striking images manage to subvert the familiar, rendering it more abstract or surreal.
“A lot of my inspiration comes from nature and how it shows off… you find really interesting patterns and shapes,” says US photographer and drone pilot Martin Sanchez, a leader in this niche but rapidly growing art form. He’s one of 12 snappers whose work features in Above: Aerial Photography at Manarat Al Saadiyat (until 26 August), alongside Emirati talents like Noura Al Neyadi and Dr Ahmad Al Rais. From Slovenia’s Beno Saradzic there are aerial views of Qasr Al Hosn, while the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s dome is captured by Liam Clayton of France. Aptly, curator Bader Al Nomani displays the photos on lightboxes lying on the floor, for a true bird’s eye view. The exhibition runs alongside topical public workshops and talks, including a panel of local artists and General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) reps discussing how to navigate the art form within aviation laws.
This is the first show to open in the photography studio at Manarat Al Saadiyat this year, and, boy, is it a soaring start.