Photographer and pilot capture amazing views of the world from up high

The bigger picture

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PHOTOS BY: Alex MacLean

Photographer Alex MacLean uses his camera to show points of view that are not often seen — aerial views. MacLean says he flies in his airplane over what he wants to capture and sticks his camera out the window while letting the plane pilot itself.

His photography career started in 1975 after he graduated from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. He got his pilot’s license, and began taking pictures of landscape and architectural design. Since beginning his career, he has flown over the majority of the United States and some parts of Europe. He has also set up his own company, and has multiple clients in municipal, institutional, corporate and private areas.

MacLean has experienced difficulties throughout his aerial photography career. Lighting conditions, unpredictable weather and plane vibrations would potentially ruin the photograph. But now, thanks to new technology and innovation, aerial photography has been made much easier.

Taken from above an Orlando wave pool.

Bathers in Wave Pool, Orlando, Fla., 1999.

Taken over Daisy Docks in Chicago.


Taken over Albuquerque.


Shipping crates in Portsmouth, Virgina.


Taken by Sunset Beach in Oahu, Hawaii.


Taken over a flock of flamingos in Italy.


A B-52 boneyard in Tuscon, Arizona.

B-52 'Boneyard', Tucson, Ariz., 1993.

People tanning in East Boston.

Poolside Tanning, East Boston, Mass., 2012.

A golf course in the desert hills in Las Vegas.

Golf Oasis in Desert Hills, Las Vegas, Nev., 2009.

A housing block in the Las Vegas desert.

Desert Housing Block, Las Vegas, Nev., 2009.
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