Vincent Laforet's AIR Series Stops in Los Angeles Before Crossing the Atlantic for Europe

 

Vincent Laforet's latest AIR series blankets the City of Angels with a farewell series of shots before the project will head to Europe for the first time starting mid-May. As Laforet continues shifting cities (from the previously covered New York CityLas Vegas, and San Francisco projects), his aesthetic slowly changes in response to the varying challenges and differences between shooting each city. Fstoppers caught up with Laforet to discuss the ever-present surprises in shooting AIR and its transformation as it grows into a larger project supported by G-Technology and pre-orders for Laforet's "AIR" book.

"LA was definitely the hardest city to shoot of all because it never ends," Laforet said over the phone. "There is a downtown, but it's a strange downtown. It's not like New York. The geometry is all over the place...the architecture is all over the place."

Laforet's Storehouse post (where you can see all of the images) points out that he even spent two nights covering Los Angeles with Redbull pilot Erin Fitzgerald, who had oxygen to support him at the greater-than-10,000-foot altitudes at which Laforet was flying to cover Los Angeles. The images, Laforet commented, looked like satellite images from their altitude. But it's the complexity of Los Angeles and its boudaries that he just couldn't get over.

LA is just endless sprawl. And you're like, what is LA? Is it Downtown LA? Is it Hollywood? When do you stop?"

Those following the AIR series might notice an ever-evolving aesthetic for the project that continues to transform and develop for each city. When asked about any potential struggle to maintain what many artists would consider a necessary seriality throughout the project, Laforet responded simply, "I'm not one for 'rules.'" Considering the ever-changing architecture, levels of light pollution, and varying sprawls, it makes sense that flexibility in the way in which these cities are covered is beneficial to the thoroughness of the project. And more interestingly, the tranforming and almost dictorial nature that every city has on the project keeps the imagery fresh with every new release.

The Los Angeles shoot also marks the first time that more behind-the-scenes information was released, including the video and even more photos (much of it from another helicopter) of the team covering the city.

Thanks to a partnership with G-Technology, Laforet will be able to take his project to London, Barcelona, Paris, and Venice starting May 11th. While that date and city list wouldn't normally matter so much, Laforet is planning meet-ups in each of those cities as part of his "anti-social media initiative" through which he uses the power of social media to bring people together physically to meet and to participate once again.

Those interested in meeting Laforet on his European tour or in pre-ordering his book should follow him or the AIR project at its website. To see all of the photos and the full story behind them from Laforet's perspective, see the Los Angeles "AIR" post on Storehouse.co.

 

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7 Comments

Casey Berner's picture

I'm a fan of aerial photography, don't get me wrong, but I am not a fan of the coloring in this series. It's too Willy-Wanka and for all the times I have flown in and out of cities at night, the colors are unnatural. Stunning. But unnatural. I love V and the technical work here is amazing, but I can't get over the color.

Adam Ottke's picture

I can see how it might not be someone's favorite...especially to those looking for a more realistic/documentary view. Even I come from that background, so it's not something I forget or don't think about when I look at these (and I've flown in and our of these cities plenty, too...I can agree with you on the natural state of color).

But I think 100% accuracy is not the aim, here. In a way, I think Vincent wants to take us to another world....he IS taking us to another world. And given that it's an art series (and not a Nat Geo or documentary editorial), I think it makes sense that there might be room for pushing the vibrance and saturation to create a bit of a more fun feel that matches the perspective from which these were captured.

Of course, that's what I get from it...and I fully expect everyone to get something just a little different form the series. But I do understand and can certainly sympathize with seeing the colors as just too saturated and unrealistic... I guess I just think there's enough creative license to leave room for that, here.

Casey Berner's picture

I completely agree on the interpretation part. That's the whole point of Art. I guess I'm just surprised. Vincent came from a photojournalism background and these are much more art pieces than I am used to from him. Great work none-the-less. I guess I am just personally victimized that he hasn't done Chicago yet.

Adam Ottke's picture

Go to his AIR site...laforetair.com, and scroll down... It's coming :-)

David Geffin's picture

Chicago is coming Casey :)

Casey Berner's picture

I just get tired of the hype game with LA and NYC. :P

Anonymous's picture

Hopefully he does something different in different cities....more of the same will get tired soon.