Don’t Turn Away

You will never see more beautiful photos of the deteriorating state of our planet than the ones in this photo feature.

Examining the work of acclaimed photojournalist Colin Finlay often evokes a curious awe—surreal, color-drenched photographs that could easily pass for the swirling handiwork of a painter. They’re beautiful. It’s only when the subjects of Finlay’s work are revealed that the sentiment turns to one of shock.

See, Finlay photographs a particularly grim subject—the destruction of our planet. Each work in his striking aerial series displays the stunning results of climate change and irresponsible human activity. For this, he has spent decades traveling the world, training his lens on
 vast areas of environmental ruin to draw the public’s attention to the rapidly deteriorating state of our Earth. One of his biggest challenges is access: Some are in hard-to-get-to locations. Others are blocked by the facilities, governments, or companies responsible for the damage. So Finlay takes to the skies, repressing his fear of heights to hang out of helicopters, photographing the devastation below.

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