Saturday, October 1, 2011

Outerland: Outer Spaces On Earth


This week has seen an eerie image of a human face in outer space, and a not so eerie image of human face in not so outer space. This post is something in between; the images might be mistaken for the surface of the Moon or that of Mars or some other surface in outer space. In actuality, they were all taken of this very Earth. This is the Outerland as imagined by photographer Allison Davies.


Allison Davies' images look timeless, as if they could have been taken yesterday, however her Outerland project took her the better part of a decade to complete. She began the series around 1998 and traveled to who knows exactly where in order to capture images of Earth that don't look like Earth.


Indeed, were it not for the text to go along with these images, one might imagine these photographs to be taken from robotic rovers on other planets, or more accurately, on Outerworlds. The only hint of their Earthly origin is the photographer herself dressed entirely in a white clean suit. In some cases, her presence makes the images even more other worldly.

It's that ambiguity that makes the whole series even more interesting. While the strange rock formations and colorful sand make for striking landscapes, the photographer's intentions are not made known. Even in her book, the images appear without any description. Are they supposed to be a kind of statement about global warming, or the future of international space exploration? The viewer has to come up with answers of his own.


While going through these photographs, it's easy to imagine them being taken on some other planet with their descriptive title being "Outerland". However, the more you look at them, you can't help but be amazed that they were all taken in different parts of this world. One image has the hot sands of an endless desert, another has the humid beginnings of a swampland, while another looks like the icy and windswept land of the Antarctic.

If you put all of those together, you get Earth. Even in her desolate places, this planet can still look hauntingly beautiful. The barren beauty of these images only accentuates how wonderfully diverse this world is. From her highest peaks to the deepest trenches, the Earth truly is the final frontier.


This is Allison Davies' website, although just like her Outerland images, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot going on there. There are some more space-like images of Earth on the Women in Photography website. For those who want a hard copy, you can order the Outerland book here.

28 comments:

Franco - TRG said...

Nice!

Fang said...

Those look so... surreal. I really need to visit those places myself someday!

ed said...

too bad gravity is still strong on earth

Bart said...

yes! another point for astronauts!

Shutterbug said...

The images are definitely interesting to look at!

neatfit said...

Reeeally sweet photos, great finds! Earth is beautiful, we should keep it, and before traveling out into space, we should find out what is on earth, we have no idea what is in deep waters.

dora said...

a great photo!

D4 said...

Stunning images. So unearthly.. from Earth.

Ray Rousell said...

Cool pics!!

Bart said...

cereal

ironchefman said...

Pretty amazing, and goes to show just how much of the world there is to see out there!

Damon said...

great pictures :D

MRanthrope said...

that's a real nice planet we had there...I give us another 50 years, tops. =/

Mo said...

Wow. Awesome photos. Following your blog.

Astaroth said...

wow, that looks amazing and creepy...

Phil S. said...

Well...this just makes me feel absolutely silly for staying inside today...

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Love this series. Reminds me of all the different planetscapes from the first Mass Effect.

Intredasting Bolg said...

Looks like my city!

Major.Mack said...

cool pics

A Heel in Mint said...

Beautiful pictures! Just amazing! :) By the way, I gave you an award on my blog. Please click on the link for details.:) http://heelinmint.blogspot.com/2011/10/tell-me-about-yourself-award.html

xx
Heel in Mint

Intredasting Bolg said...

Followed!

The Angry Lurker said...

They do look suitably unearthly.

Upcoming Top Games said...

beautiful landscapes

sildude said...

Really cool. It makes me really glad that we have magical locations like those on Earth.

r.alsharif said...

I liked the black and white one the most :D It would make such a cool cafe poster!

A Kid At Heart said...

Well I know where I'm going for my next vacation.

princy gupta said...

What a beautiful pix...
its awesome...
great job

Toomzie said...

love those pics!

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