In 2004, Michael Fay, a botanist I had worked with in Africa 15 years before, was making an aerial survey of Africa for National Geographic in a small plane, and they wanted me to photograph his discoveries. I was able to draw up a wish list of all the places I had yet to see from above: Mali's mud-building masterpieces; the countless herds migrating toward Botswana's freshwater oasis; the Skeleton Coast of Namibia and its surreal landscape of mysterious fairy circles; Kenya's Great Rift Valley; the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, which in wintertime are blanketed in snow.
I'm a photographer who flies, not a pilot who takes pictures. I do this kind of flying because it gives me the opportunity to photograph remote areas in a way they have never been seen before. And from my vantage point in the sky, there is always more to explore, to question, and, ultimately, to understand.