Winners of the DJI Drone Photography Award, Markel Redondo and Tom Hegen have presented diverse new bodies of work at ThePrintsSpace gallery. Sand Castles (part II) provides a perspective on Spain’s 3.4 million abandoned houses; while The Salt Series documents salt production across Europe. In early 2018, Redondo spent 15 days driving across southern Spain, where he photographed 12 different developments. “An estimated 3.4 million houses stand empty and deserted. Built in a dizzying rush by developers to exploit cheap loans and favourable government regulations, these modern ruins now litter the landscape. There is an apocalyptic feel to the developments; it is as if you are the last inhabitant in the world.”
Redondo first photographed these abandoned developments in 2010. Eight years later, and now equipped with a DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone, he retraced his footsteps, returning to the same sites and also visiting new ones. “Spain was one of the countries hardest hit by the European economic crisis. Due to a toxic combination of billions of euros worth of bad loans held by Spanish banks, and a real estate bubble that burst in spectacular style in 2007, Spain’s economy now faces multiple challenges. Sand Castles (part II) aims to highlight this problem from a new perspective. We live in a society with huge housing issues, where many cannot afford a place to live, yet Spain has more than three million empty homes,” observed Redondo. The Salt Series was captured with the DJI Phantom 4 Pro camera pointing directly downwards. “The contrast and geometric shapes of the salt ponds remind me of abstract paintings,” said Hegan. “Our need to arrange everything geometrically in order to regulate and have control makes us all, in a sense, designers of our own environment.”
Using a drone, Hegen was able to fly above some of Europe’s largest salt production sites and reveal their intricate process. The artificially-created ponds, shown in The Salt Series, are one of the core elements of sea salt production.
“The production of sea salt is one of the oldest forms of human intervention in natural spaces but we rarely ask where it actually comes from and how it is being produced.”
1.,2.,3.: The Salt Series by Tom Hegen (www.bjp-online.com/2018/03/
4., 5.: Sand Castles (part II) by Markel Redondo (www.bjp-online.