The most surprising thing revealed to Bernhard Lang, when he was photographing London from above, was just how clean it looked.
"I was photographing over Munich a few weeks before — a city that has the reputation to be especially neat and tidy. But I have to say that London — at least the main attraction areas of London — made a better and tidier impression on me."
Born in the South of Germany in 1970, Lang has spent almost a decade now photographing his 'Aerial Views' series: a project that's had him sticking his camera out of the side of helicopters the world over — from the domes and ruins of Rome and the tulip fields of the Netherlands, to the shanty towns of Manila, and mines in Botswana, Angola and Niger.
Lang is particularly interested in images that capture the impact of human activity on nature and the environment. London certainly hasn't done this by halves. "I personally like the images of Piccadilly and Oxford Circus with London's typical double-decker buses and taxis, and the many people walking around," Lang tells us.
"I also was also lucky with the photo of Paternoster Square, because in the moment when we flew over it the sunlight was shinning just on the top of the column and the lower part was already in the shade — so we had this special light situation."
A manmade city will occasionally ape nature in unexpected ways. One surprising moment came when Lang swooped over Horse Guards Parade: "It looked a bit like people walking through a desert in the middle of a megacity," he says.
Does Lang think architects usually consider the impact of their designs from above, as from street level? "Yes, I think the entire design of a building is important and must be considered by the architects and urban planners, in particular for the cityscape of a major cosmopolitan city like London," he says.