We’ve all felt inspired at some point to snap a photo of the landscape below as our plane takes off or touches down. Our favourite places always seem to look especially thrilling when viewed from above. Photographer Chia Joel treats us to a sky-high view of cities across the globe – without the through-the-plane-window glare – in this jaw-dropping drone photography series.
Whether it’s finding beauty above a highway in Athens or offering insight into how cities like Barcelona or New York were shaped over the centuries, Joel’s aerial shots bring us a fresh and striking perspective on some of our favourite getaways around the world, and also inspire us to add a few new destinations to our bucket list.
New York City is home to some of the world’s first skyscrapers, the oldest of which dates back to the late 19th century. Manhattan’s skyline, in particular, is still defined by these towering buildings
While Barcelona’s Ciutat Vella is a cluster of narrow streets, the newer areas, and the Eixample district in particular, are defined by a grid street pattern of diagonal avenues and chamfered street corners.
The Kifisias Avenue Interchange in Athens links the high-speed Attiki Odos Motorway with Kifisias Avenue, one of the longest arteries in the Greater Athens area. Its three-tiered structure makes for an unexpectedly dramatic overhead perspective.
Unlike most cities in North America, downtown is not the centre of urban life in Los Angeles. Aside from the few who live or work downtown, most Angelenos reside, dine and shop in suburbs like this one.
A massive limestone cliff looms over the tiny Muslim village of Ko Panyi in Thailand’s Phang Nga province. This fishing village is known for its raised houses, which are elevated above the surrounding water on stilts.