Overview, is a stunning, and unique collection of aerial photos, captured by Padula, piloting his own small one-engined plane over an amazing variety of American landscapes. Unique because these images are more than just a record of beauty glimpsed from above., although they are all strangely beautiful.
Each photo documents a collision between man and the earth. Each photo asks questions that are sometimes uncomfortable to answer. Overview is a "coffee-table book" with a conscience. An unexpected and unforgettable view of our planet.
When did you last look at something without seeing it? Was it when you were flying at about thirty thousand feet, glanced down at the good Earth, and pulled down the shade so you could watch the movie?—
When you saw green, covering much of planet, did you give a second thought about how important that chlorophyll is to all of us oxygen addicts? Whether it's far below or right under our noses, how often do we really see, and understand the planet we live on?
. . . . .
In Overview, Fred Padula gives us a chance to read today's Earth anew. He has turned flying into art, painting with his plane and camera a view of the Earth's revealing surface that removes familiar assumptions and biases (and I have accumulated a lot of them over the past 88 years). The book reads like a foreign language of beautiful characters, but as your understanding grows so does an ominous feeling. Simultaneously, we see both the abstract beauty and hidden tragedy in the forgotten landscapes of modern society. Fred has a talent for finding the right light to see them with, and revealing that the marks of man can be strange, fascinating, and often "magnificent gestures" themselves, a phrase Ansel Adams used to describe the special skills the Creator used when putting the Earth together in those storied Six Days of Creation. Even the tragedy of an old strip-mine cannot escape the transforming illumination of the evening's last light. Who would have expected to find abstract grace in the swirl of a wastewater pond? Enjoy the deceptive beauty Fred's art reveals, but understand that these gestures of man are not without a price.
. . . .
—David R. Brower
This large-format book is now available as a handsome collector's edition, hardback, as well as in electronic form.
OVERVIEW, Land, Light & Man's Markings
92 pages, 12 x 12 inches, hardbound, $125 plus shipping
The book is printed and bound on demand by blurb.com and can be ordered from the link at the bottom of this page
just click on the small Preview Image of the book cover below. Clicking on this cover will open the book, and each succeeding click will turn a page. (Or use the right and left attow keys)
Best of all, click on the small double-headed arrow to put the Preview into full-screen mode.
Fred Padula, Photography + Film
PO Box 254, Mill Valley CA 94942