Since practically the dawn of time, humans have always been inventive about extracting the vital nutrient salt: evaporation basins for sea salt are one of the oldest forms of landscaping. The production sites are mainly located in shallow coastal waters—and the artificial ponds that I show in my photo series are one of these sites’ key elements. Salt farmers flood them with saltwater, then let the sun and wind evaporate a majority of the water. What remains behind is water with a high concentration of salt, the brine. Its color reveals the salt content, because microorganisms change their color depending on the concentration of saline. The spectrum runs from light green tones to a vibrant red. The strong contrasts and geometric forms remind me of abstract paintings. The need to geometrically order things makes us into designers of our own environment. These photographs here show a salt farm in southern Europe.
In his aerial photography, Tom Hegen focuses on landscapes that have been strongly modified by human beings, thus documenting the traces that we leave on the earth’s surface.