My debonair colleague Alex Sassoon Coby -- of GameSpot UK fame -- has just introduced me to the work of Jason Hawkes. Hawkes' adventurous name suits his profession: if he wasn't an aerial photographer he'd have to be a deadshot spy or two-fisted jungle guide or something. But instead he takes amazing pictures of the world from on high.
I love the idea that at any time you can be walking along and hundreds of feet above your head there's a crazy man hanging out of a helicopter with a camera, capturing the pulsing miasma of light and shade that is the city. It's hard enough to get a picture right in normal conditions, but to do it strapped to a helicopter with the wind whipping at you takes a special level of skill, spunk and possibly insanity.
In this gallery of London from the air, my favourite is the first, showing sodium-lit streets flowing like lava channels through the blue-black stone and steel buildings. The curves of Waterloo station reveal themselves like a Magic Eye painting in picture 10, while Canary Wharf and environs are lit up with unexpected strips of laser-blue and green in number 16.
I also like the view of an M25 junction, truly looking like a demonic sigil scorched into the earth -- maybe Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett were right. Appropriate then, that this is picture number 13...
All of this is tied in with the BBC's Britain From Above programming. This sort of thing is the reason I pay my license fee.