Yann Arthus-Bertrand is perhaps the best known aerial photographer on the planet. He has sold more than 3 million copies worldwide of his seminal photo essay Earth From Above, a decade-spanning attempt to photograph all the vistas of the planet from the sky, whether by helicopter, hot air balloon, or anything else that flies.
Arthus-Bertrand seeks to uncover the story behind the landscape, not just create a pretty picture. Indeed, his subjects are not always photogenic -- his prints show poverty and strife as well as green tranquility; and everywhere in his work is the encroaching hand of humanity and its enterprise. He keeps close track of the coordinates of his locations, so other photographers may track their progress over time.
His newest project takes a different view -- focusing more closely on the people who live on this planet. Called 6 Billion Others, the project was a centerpiece of Pangea Day 2008.
With Luc Besson, he is working on the feature-length documentary Boomerang, to be shot in 60 countries.
“With Earth from above, I simply want people to see the Earth as it is today, as faithfully as possible. What motivates me is the impact a photograph can make within the framework of environmental preservation. The great novelty of our time is that mankind has the power to change its environment and I want my photos to testify to this fact so people can realise this.” (Yann Arthus-Bertrand)