Alex Maclean

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Works

Brightly Painted Houses, Burano, Italy, 2010

Alex Maclean

Marked Territory, Viareggio, Italy, 2010

Alex Maclean

Umbrella Territory, Camaiore, Tuscany, Italy, 2010

Alex Maclean

Beach Sunning, Spiagge Beach, Rosignano Marittimo, Italy, 2007

Alex Maclean

Waste Channels, Suncor Mine, Alberta, Canada, 2014

Alex Maclean

Ocean City Amusement Park, Ocean City, Maryland, USA, 2011

Alex Maclean

Directionless Lobster Boats, Tremont, Maine, USA, 2008

Alex Maclean

Open Beach, Rosignano, Marittimo, Italy, 2007

Alex Maclean

Guillotined B-52 Bombers at the ‘Bone Yard’, Tucson, Arizona, USA, 1994

Alex Maclean

Surface Oil on Tailing Pond, Alberta, Canada, 2014

Alex Maclean

Storm Water Drainage, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 2009

Alex Maclean

Boneyard Revisited, III, Tucson, Arizona, USA, 2004

Alex Maclean

Dry Land Farming Strips and Low Spots, Chugwater, Wyoming, USA, 2008

Alex Maclean

Housing Labyrinth, Clark County, Nevada, USA, 2009

Alex Maclean

Picknickers Watching a Live Concert at Tanglewood, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA, 1996

Alex Maclean

Cross-Tilling, Monon, Indiana, USA, 2007

Alex Maclean

Flamingos Taking Flight, Rosolina, Veneto, Italy, 2009

Alex Maclean

Flamingos at Rest, Rosolina, Veneto, Italy, 2009

Alex Maclean

Algae between Logs, Longview, Washington, 1990

Alex Maclean

Hay Bale Circle, Tacoma, Washington, USA, 2005

Alex Maclean

Desert Neighbours, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 2009

Alex Maclean

Free-Wheeling, Clark County, Nevada, USA, 2009

Alex Maclean

Autumn Drop, Eureka, Missouri, USA, 2010

Alex Maclean

Orchard and Vineyard Snow Shadows, Bolton Massachusetts, USA, 2013

Alex Maclean

Iron Ore Piles, Duluth, Minnesota, USA, 2014

Alex Maclean

Stacked Interchange at I-17, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 2004

Alex Maclean

Slurry Outfall, Mountain Iron, Minnesota, USA, 2014

Alex Maclean

Orange Tulip Strip, Rutten, Netherlands, 2015

Alex Maclean

Drainage Lines, Elkton, Kentucky, 2016

Alex Maclean

Protective Cover, Prairie du Rocher, Illinois, 2016

Alex Maclean

Tulip Bands, Rutten, Netherlands, 2015

Alex Maclean

Desert Passage, Mohave County, Arizona, USA, 2005

Alex Maclean

Sprinkler Heads in Wastewater Treatment Pond, Panama City, Florida, USA, 2007

Alex Maclean

Housing Development at Different Stages, Henderson, Nevada, USA, 2005

Alex Maclean

Sailboats on Mooring, Auckland, New Zealand, 2006

Alex Maclean

Community Garden, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA, 2013

Alex Maclean

Tide Line, Falmouth, Massachusetts, USA, 2013

Alex Maclean

Universal Studios, Pedestrian Walks and Amusement Rides II, Orlando, Florida, 1999

Alex Maclean

Sunbathers on a Rocky Shore, Liverno, Italy, 2007

Alex Maclean

Bathers in Wave Pool, Orlando, Florida, USA, 1999

Alex Maclean

Staking out Territory, Livorno, Italy, 2007

Alex Maclean

Settlement Gradient, Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, CA, 2014

Alex Maclean

Up and Down Umbrellas, Lido Spina, Italy, 2007

Alex Maclean

Poolside Tanning, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 2012

Alex Maclean

B-52, ‘Bone Yard’, Tucson, Arizona, USA, 1991

Alex Maclean

Tailing Piles, Hibbing, MN, 2014

Alex Maclean

Ore Runoff, Duluth, MN, 2014

Alex Maclean

Evening at Viareggio, Viareggio, Italy, 2010

Alex Maclean

Dinghies Clustered around Dock, Duxbury, Massachusetts, USA, 1993

Alex Maclean

Loaded Coal Train Cars, Norfolk, Virginia, USA, 2011

Alex Maclean

Shipping Containers, Portsmouth, Virginia, USA, 2011

Alex Maclean

Free Swim, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 2012

Alex Maclean

Hierarchy of Roads, Goodyear, Arizona, USA, 2004

Alex Maclean

Twists and Turns of a Waterslide Park, Wildwood, NJ, 1996

Alex Maclean

Surfers behind Breaking Waves at Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii, USA

Alex Maclean

Beach Goers and Green Umbrellas, Navarre Beach, FL, 2007

Alex Maclean

Tracks of Tomatoes in Field, North Central Ohio, USA, 1990

Alex Maclean

Parking Lot Maple Plantings, East St. Louis, Missouri, 2010, USA

Alex Maclean

Over Ramps, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, 2008

Alex Maclean

Floating Daisy Docks, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 1990

Alex Maclean

Cliffside Rivulets, Mountain Iron, MN, 2014

Alex Maclean

Steam and Smoke Rise from Upgrading Facility at Syncrude Mildred Lake Mine, Alberta, Canada, 2014

Alex Maclean

Snowmobile Tracks on the Clearwater River, Alberta, Canada, 2014

Alex Maclean

Railroad Turntable, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, 1985

Alex Maclean

Bay Channel, Fremont, California, USA, 1984

Alex Maclean

Logging Rafts, Olympia, Washington, USA, 2005

Alex Maclean

Flower Fields, Lompoc, California, USA, 2013

Alex Maclean

Atlantic City Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA, 2010

Alex Maclean

Desert Housing Block, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 2009

Alex Maclean

White Train Cars, Linden, New Jersey, USA, 2010

Alex Maclean

Community Pool without Community, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 2009

Alex Maclean

Desert Overlay, Kingman North, Arizona, USA, 2009

Alex Maclean

Concentrated Solar, Clark County, Nevada, USA, 2009

Alex Maclean

Marias River Drainage and Pivot Irrigator, Loma Area, Montana, USA, 1991

Alex Maclean

Wheat Strips Running Perpendicular to the Prevailing Wind, Conrad Area, Montana, USA, 1991

Alex Maclean

Hadley Tobacco Barns, Hadley, Massachusetts, USA, 1978

Alex Maclean

Golf Oasis in Desert Hills, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 2009

Alex Maclean

Water Connection, Houston, Texas, USA, 2007

Alex Maclean

Housing Development II, Beaverton, Oregon, USA, 2005

Alex Maclean

Phelps Dodge Large Open Pit Mine and Tailings I, Bagdad, Arizona, 2005

Alex Maclean

Phelps Dodge Large Open Pit Mine and Tailings III, Bagdad, Arizona, 2005

Alex Maclean

Early Years

Alex MacLean was born in Seattle, Washington on 8 January 1947 and spent his childhood growing up on an eleven acre hobby farm, just outside Washington DC. He was interested in photography from an early age and when he was nine went on holiday to Europe taking his clamshell Brownie camera.

His passion for photography developed as he reached his teenage years, and whilst studying for his undergraduate degree at Harvard University he enjoyed photographing the landscapes of subsistence farming surrounding him. During his studies MacLean tried to exploit his photographic skills by applying to join the Harvard Crimson Newspaper but it did not employ him.

Maclean went on to gain a Masters degree in architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design and graduated in 1973. As part of the course he regularly undertook field research, using his camera as the main source for gathering information. When he was offered the chance to research from the air, MacLean discovered it gave him the best view for site analysis and two years after graduating, in 1975, went on to acquire his pilot licence. This helped him fulfil his ambition to photograph our rapidly changing environment and document our impact on the landscapes below. That same year MacLean founded his company, Landslides, specialising in aerial photography for architects, designers, planners and environmentalists. MacLean has gone on to amass an archive of over 350,000 images of streetscapes, parks, gardens, campuses, plazas, mining and extraction pits and urban design developments across parts of America and Europe.

Landslides

The commissions MacLean has received through Landslides also allow him to explore his personal artistic practice which is chiefly concerned with development, industry and humanity’s footprint on the natural world. With only one minor accident and one camera lens lost, MacLean continues to spend two to three hours per day flying from one state to the next observing the dramatic landscape below watching it evolve and change. As he said in an interview for Photographer’s Forum in 1994: ‘It’s easy to fall into imitations yourself. I try to take a fresh approach to all the shots, to be really open to what I’m seeing rather having a premeditated idea about what I’m going to shoot, or forcing a statement out of something that’s not there. My good pictures really come from my being responsive.’

His images reveal the complexities and absurdities of contemporary life across America and Europe. Maclean has taken photographs 1000 feet above northern Alberta’s oil operation. The tar sands, more commonly referred to in Canada as the oil sands, are the world’s third-largest petroleum reserve. This expansive and ongoing project documents the destruction of forests natural wildlife in around tar sands in Alberta. The sublime beauty of the wilderness in Alberta is shown by Maclean to be sharply punctuated with vast areas of slick oil sheens and smoke columns rising from refineries.

Maclean is the author of eleven books and has won numerous awards, including the CORINE International Book Award, the American Academy of Rome’s Prix de Rome in Landscape Architecture for 2003-2004, and grants from foundations such as the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting in 2014. Maclean lives and works in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

Related

Notes, News and Press

Notes

Alex MacLean, Aerial Photographer