Hein Gorny, a German photographer associated with the New Objectivity style, along and the American Adolph C. Byers, took to the air in 1945 and 1946 to take photos of the complete devastation wrought upon Germany in the war.According to Gorny’s son, Byers had somehow managed to sneak Gorny onto small American planes where he took the pictures. The planes were eventually noticed by British authorities and grounded.
Peter Gorny told Der Spiegel:
Before he pressed the shutter release, my father composed the photos in his mind. To position the Leica or Rolleiflex at the right angle, they circled several times around a site. For him the most important thing about these shots was the shadows. Without shadows, my father told me, aerial photographs look lifeless. Once he called off a flight because clouds suddenly blocked out the sun. He was incredibly picky when the light and shadow weren’t right.
The photos remained part of Gorny’s estate after he died in 1967, and have only been published recently by Collection Regard.
Prints are also available from Collection Regard, who kindly gave us permission to feature these images.
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