Winners of DJI Drone Photography Award. Spain’s abandoned houses and the European salt ponds

Sand Castles (part II). Winners of DJI Drone Photography Award. Spain’s abandoned houses and the European salt ponds. Photograph © Markel Redondo
08/04/2018
Winners of DJI Drone Photography Award. Spain’s abandoned houses and the European salt ponds
[London] UK 06.04 > 18.04.2018
metalocus, VANESA DEL OLMO, JOAQUIN MINAYA, INES OÑATE
Sand Castles (part II). Winners of DJI Drone Photography Award. Spain’s abandoned houses and the European salt ponds. Photograph © Markel Redondo
The winners of the DJ Drone Photography Award, promoted by the drone manufacturer DJI, have dealt with current issues such as the promotions of abandoned homes and the production of salt in Europe.
The winners were photographers Markel Redondo and Tom Hegen. The first presents the series Sand Castles, a continuation, eight years later, of his first series on promotions of abandoned housing, which emphasizes and increases the situation of crisis that generated the housing bubble. And the second, reflects the saline landscapes modified by humans, geometric and bright colors that remind us of art.

Markel Redondo: Sand Castles (part II)

Across Spain, 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” – Markel Redondo

Redondo first photographed these abandoned developments in 2010. Eight years later, and now equipped with a DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone, he has retraced his footsteps; returning to the same sites and also visiting new ones.

In early 2018, Redondo spent 15 days driving across southern Spain where he photographed 12 different developments.

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” – Markel Redondo

Tom Hegen: The Salt Series
 
"The Salt Series documents salt production across Europe. Captured with the DJI Phantom 4 Pro camera pointing directly downwards, Hegen’s photographs combine vivid colours and geometric shapes to create a series of abstract stills that fall somewhere between art and photography."
 
“The contrast and geometric shapes of the salt ponds remind me of abstract paintings. Our need to arrange everything geometrically in order to regulate and have control makes us all, in a sense, designers of our own environment” – Tom Hegen

Using a drone, Hegen was able to fly above some of Europe’s largest salt production sites and reveal the intricate process that many take for granted. 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” – Tom Hegen

Hegen is interested in exploring the relationship between man and nature and uses aerial photography as a means to document landscapes that have been heavily transformed by human intervention. The Salt Series explores artificial landscapes across Europe where nature is channelled, regulated and controlled.

DJI Drone Photography Award

Launched in late-2017, the DJI Drone Photography Award called for project ideas that would make creative use of a drone to explore new photographic possibilities. In capturing subject matters impossible to reach on foot, the drone-shot work would open the viewer’s eyes to new possibilities, encouraging them to consider the world from alternative perspectives.

Award winners Markel Redondo and Tom Hegen were each provided with a DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone and £1,500 project financing, amongst other prizes, to realise their projects.

Markel Redondo

Is a documentary, travel and portrait photographer who splits his time between his two bases in Bilbao and Biarritz. His work focuses on social and environmental issues and has featured in publications including the New York Times, Le Monde and Der Spiegel.

A day before he was due to begin a degree at the University of Bolton, Markel decided Computer Sciences did not play a partin his future and withdrew from the course to pursue a career in photography. From Bolton he headed to China where, while studying for an MA in Photojournalism, he worked for a number of agencies, newspapers and magazines. In 2007, he returned to Europe. He regularly collaborates with social-facing organisations and charities, namely the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Greenpeace.

Tom Hegen

Is a photographer and designer from Germany. Interested in exploring the relationship between man and nature, Hegen uses aerial photography as a means to document landscapes that have been heavily transformed by human intervention. As part of his postgraduate studies, Hegen completed a thesis examining “The rising possibilities of aerial photography by multicopters.” Through abstraction and aestheticisation, the photographer seeks to challenge the viewer’s visual preconceptions, while engaging them in socio-important topics.

DJI

DJI is the world’s leading drone manufacturer. In redefining camera placement and motion, DJI’s products empower creators to capture images that were once out of reach. An unparalleled commitment to research and development, a culture of constant innovation and curiosity, and a focus on transforming complex technology into easy-to-use devices lies at the heart of DJI. Building on the ethos of “form follows function,” DJI products combine advanced technology with dynamic designs. The DJI Drone Photography Award is a DJI competition supported by British Journal of Photography.

1854 Media

1854 Media is a leading multi-platform photographic media organisation with a global monthly audience of 3.5m+ photographers, enthusiasts and creatives. 1854’s core brands include British Journal of Photography, the world’s longest running photography title which has been showcasing pioneers of the art form since 1854; internationally renowned photography awards – including Portrait of Britain and International Photography Award – that discover and promote new talent; and Studio 1854, a visual content agency that helps brands use the power of photography and video to cultivate and engage larger audiences.
Place
74 Kingsland Road, London. E2 8DL
Dates
Between 06 and 18 April 2018
Schedule
Between 9:00am and 7:00pm, Monday to Fri
day. Admission is free of charge

Sand Castles (part II). Winners of DJI Drone Photography Award. Spain’s abandoned houses and the European salt ponds. Photograph © Markel RedondoSand Castles (part II). Winners of DJI Drone Photography Award. Spain’s abandoned houses and the European salt ponds. Photograph © Markel RedondoSand Castles (part II). Winners of DJI Drone Photography Award. Spain’s abandoned houses and the European salt ponds. Photograph © Markel RedondoSand Castles (part II). Winners of DJI Drone Photography Award. Spain’s abandoned houses and the European salt ponds. Photograph © Markel RedondoSand Castles (part II). Winners of DJI Drone Photography Award. Spain’s abandoned houses and the European salt ponds. Photograph © Markel RedondoSand Castles (part II). Winners of DJI Drone Photography Award. Spain’s abandoned houses and the European salt ponds. Photograph © Markel RedondoThe Salt Series. Winners of DJI Drone Photography Award. Spain’s abandoned houses and the European salt ponds. Photograph © Tom HegenThe Salt Series. Winners of DJI Drone Photography Award. Spain’s abandoned houses and the European salt ponds. Photograph © Tom HegenThe Salt Series. Winners of DJI Drone Photography Award. Spain’s abandoned houses and the European salt ponds. Photograph © Tom HegenThe Salt Series. Winners of DJI Drone Photography Award. Spain’s abandoned houses and the European salt ponds. Photograph © Tom HegenThe Salt Series. Winners of DJI Drone Photography Award. Spain’s abandoned houses and the European salt ponds. Photograph © Tom HegenThe Salt Series. Winners of DJI Drone Photography Award. Spain’s abandoned houses and the European salt ponds. Photograph © Tom Hegen