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Patterns From Above with Alex Maclean

Patterns are an ubiquitous facet of life. Whether they're natural like a leopards fur, or man-made like the marking lines on a car park floor, we see and interact with them everyday but without really thinking about the patterns that we, ourselves, leave behind on the world. That is until now, as aerial photographer, Alex Maclean, has captured some amazing stills showing the patterns left behind by civilisation.

Since being awarded his pilot's licence in the 1970s, Alex Maclean has been all over the globe, leaning out of plane windows with his camera in a bid to document how civilisations embed their patterns on the world.

Maclean's work covers urban, industrial and natural environments, where he chooses vantage points low enough to make out subjects but high enough to reveal the broader landscape and the layering patterns it provides.

While Maclean normally starts his flight with a particular subject in mind, new and unexpected patterns can present themselves at any time such as the seemingly never-ending pattern below, created by a housing estate which would typically be seen as mundane from ground-level.

Obviously snapping and flying at the same time takes a fair bit of skill, but with 40 years experience Alex has nailed the manoeuvres which include tilting the plane 45 degrees to the left to make it easier to turn and capture the scenery below.

With a number of books to his name, Alex Maclean is well renowned for his work. You can find out more about the photographer and his projects at

All photographs are copyright of Alex Maclean.