Georg Gerster, best known for his extended work in documenting nature from above, became the pioneer in aerial photography.
Born in Winterthur near Zurich in 1928, Georg Gerster studied languages before serving as the science editor of the Weltwoche news magazine from 1950 to 1956. After that he became a freelance journalist with a focus on science reporting and aerial photography. Gerster took his first photo flight in Sudan in 1963.
His work took him as far as Antarctica and appeared in National Geographic as well as in Swissair posters. Gerster used the alienation effect inherent in aerial photographs to inspire respect for the beauty of the planet and an understanding of the old structures and life forms that have evolved over the centuries. He aimed to document the impact of human intervention on the ecosystem.
‘I see my best aerial photographs as a kick-start for flights of thought. The aerial picture is a tool of reflection. From high up, one sees not only what is, but just as well what could be – the inventory of our possibilities.’ words by Georg Gerster.