Aerial Series Mixes 1940s Fashion with Undertones of the Pandemic

Award-winning aerial photographer Brad Walls has released a new photo series that showcases his unique take on conceptual aerial photography, drawing inspiration from 1940s fashion. Drones as a photographic tool are rarely associated with conceptual photography and tend to be preferred for landscape, architecture, and other types of commercial photographic projects. However, Walls proves that […]

Aerial Series Mixes 1940s Fashion with Undertones of the Pandemic

Award-winning aerial photographer Brad Walls has released a new photo series that showcases his unique take on conceptual aerial photography, drawing inspiration from 1940s fashion.

Drones as a photographic tool are rarely associated with conceptual photography and tend to be preferred for landscape, architecture, and other types of commercial photographic projects. However, Walls proves that aerial photography can give another dimension to fine artwork, too.

“Conceptual photography is mostly shot on handheld cameras, but I wanted to showcase the value of an alternate viewpoint to convey a meaningful story,” he explains.

His signature style utilizes negative space, symmetry and leading lines shot top-down, such as in his earlier project this year — “Water Geomaids.” Walls collaborated with a local, Sydney-based team of synchronized swimmers and choreographer Katrin Ann, who is a former competitor herself.

“Expanse”
“Equilibrium”
“Emergence”
“Elysian”

His latest work — “Detached, in Harmony” — also carries his unique style, one that is executed with great precision. Walls tells PetaPixel that with this photographic series he wanted “to harness nuance and meticulous attention to detail to mirror the state of the world during the pandemic.”

Like many other creatives, Walls experienced how distant and repetitive life had become and wanted to use this as an inspiration and as a focal point in his work. To express these emotions visually, Walls used repetition in his compositions, combined with his signature symmetry of figures and minimalism. Walls also wanted to showcase the possibilities of drones to create conceptual photography, one that takes the viewer on a visual journey to experience the pandemic in a creative way.

“Birth”
“Genesis”
“Lampshade”

Each frame was carefully arranged with models placed at even lengths, while the shadows they cast highlighted the element of solitude. “The figures are purposefully static, to symbolize how we have been frozen in time over the past 18 months,” says Walls.

Prior to the shoot, Walls sketched out his ideas on his iPad but had to be ready to improvise whilst faced with the harsh sand dunes environment. In order to achieve his desired result, Walls tells PetaPixel that the biggest challenge was timing.

“I had a certain look I was trying to achieve, and I knew that I needed rainfall the night prior to shooting to achieve that flat sand look,” he explains. “Patience is a virtue! Also, it can be terribly gusty on sand dunes, so handling the drone at a higher altitude shown in ‘sentinel’ created some challenges. It must be said that the majority of my work is at low altitudes, so as a drone user I never have too many technical issues on the shoot.”

“Sentinel”
“Heroine”

He drew inspiration from 1940s fashion photographer Clifford Coffin’s “Models Sitting on Sand Dunes” image, which was shot for Vogue in 1949. In a similar vein to Coffin’s boundary-breaking photography, Walls is also drawn to similar elements, such as a melancholic sense of loneliness, balanced by warmer hues.

“Neverfear, Fibonacci”
“Static”
“Tether”

“We all belong to something that separates us. It’s a sort of melancholic irony,” says Walls about his latest work, which placed second in the 2021 Fine Art Photography Awards “Conceptual” category. It was also awarded Silver in both the prestigious PX2 and Moscow Fine Art Awards of 2021. In the near future, Walls plans to exhibit this body of work in a solo exhibition in 2022.

More of Walls’ aerial work can be found on his website and Instagram.


Image credits: All images by Brad Walls and used with permission.

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Photographers to Follow on Instagram: September 17, 2021

Every day, the PetaPixel Instagram account is sharing excellent photography from our readers and those who inspire us. Here is a look at some of our recent favorite posts and the photographers behind the lens. Our @PetaPixel Instagram page has been posting all the great work that finds its way in front of our eyes. […]

Photographers to Follow on Instagram: September 17, 2021

Every day, Instagram account is sharing excellent photography from our readers and those who inspire us. Here is a look at some of our recent favorite posts and the photographers behind the lens.

Our @PetaPixel Instagram page has been posting all the great work that finds its way in front of our eyes. Want to see your photos shared on our account? First, you’ll want to follow us. Then use the #petapixel hashtag in your posts to join our Instagram community of photographers. These steps let us easily find what to share.

Below, we recognize a selection of talented photographers who recently had their work featured on @PetaPixel. Keep posting your images with #petapixel and you could find yourself here next week.


Carim Jost, found on Instagram as @carim_jost, is a 37-year-old amateur photographer based in Switzerland. Jost has a passion for wilderness and adventure and loves sharing the beauty of the mountains as a means of protecting them.


Dominik Zagarovsky is a fashion and portrait photographer based in Cologne, Germany whose work can be seen on Instagram at @dominikzky. “Mostly I shoot people that are not models and not in some kind of creative industry,” Zagarovsky told PetaPixel. “My goal is creating a connection with them, which makes them feel like being in front of the camera is the most normal thing in the world.”


Matt Kenneally, or @matt_kenneally on Instagram, is a London-based photographer that specializes in time-slices. These time-slices show the passage of time in a single image and take hours to capture all the frames needed.


Kevin Kielty, whose main Instagram account is @shakes11, is an amateur photographer living in Southern California. “I focus mainly on surfing photos and wildlife/animals,” Kielty told PetaPixel through email. “And am hoping to move professionally into either field.”

For this particular photo that’s sure to put a smile on your face, he used the Nikon D500 and Nikkor 200-500mm lens. Keilty said it was shot at a spot called The Wedge in Newport Beach, California “on a day when the waves were breaking 15-20 feet.”


Alan Shapiro, known as @alanshapiro515 on Instagram, is a multi-talented photographer who said that he still can’t decide whether he prefers portraiture, food, still life, or macro. Any which way, photography for Shapiro came as a stress-relieving hobby and he “turned it into a joy-filled second career.”


Be sure to follow us on Instagram to see more work from photographers like you and tag photos with #petapixel for them to be considered for a feature.


Image credits: All photographs used with the permission of their respective photographers.

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