Bernhard Edmaier’s Aerial Photography Is Out Of This World…

Bright green moss has colonized a hill in the middle of Maelifellsandur, a black desert of lava and volcanic ash in Iceland. The hill is all what remains of a once active cinder cone, ground down by ice of the nearby retreating Maelifell glacier.


Bernhard Edmaier is an aerial photographer living in a small village in Germany, but his photography takes him to exquisite corners of the world, where his interest in natural phenoma thrives. There and beyond, he documents the colors and patterns of the Earth’s surface that are astounding, mind-blowing, and full of grandeur. All of the images below are paired with geologic explanations from his website — where you can see more photos.

(via butitdoesfloat)

There have been volcanoes in the Oregon area for 30 Million years ago, blasting huge amounts of ash into the sky. Winds and rivers carried the ash to where the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument now lies. This volcanic ash built up, layer after layer, continually burying the marshes and forests that flourished in the moist and warm tropical climate of the period. The heavy stroms that rain down here today carve gullies into the soft layers of ash and, over time, have created the striped landscape of Painted Hills. The yellow and red layers owe their colour to eroded volcanic materials, while the dark blurry flecks are the remains of dead vegetation.


Hot volcanic gases can corrode rock and turn ponds into bubbling mud pools. An upsurge of hot gases causes mud eruptions.

The 60-metres deep crater of Champagne Pool torn open during a volcanic explosion in Wai-O-Tapu 900 years ago. The spring water in the basin is heated to 75 degrees Celsius. Heat loving bacteria cover the crust, where minerals are deposited. The orange colour is evidence of antimony compounds.

Sometimes in the summer months, small pools occur at the polygon`s corners of the patterned permafrost ground. These little lakes could become up to 3 m deep and 30 m in diameter. Driven by gravity, water flows along the polygon`s rims from one pool to the other, so that the pools get connected by a stream. Scientists call it beaded drainage. This phenomenon is typical for thawing permafrost.

Reefs can act as a barrier made up of billions of sponges and tiny coral polyps that have built up over the millennia. They construct their exoskeletons by filtering calcium carbonate out of the water. Some of the smaller islands of the Bahamas, such as Conception Island are surrounded by reefs. They stabilize the edges of the islands and protect them from the surging waves.

Bands of moraine debris rest on the furrowed ice tongue of the Age Nielson Glacier in East Greenland. The glacier is retreating. At its front, more ice breaks off into the sea than the glacier can accumulate from the landmass behind it. Please also look at [IMAGE NO. 7]


Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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