Lets ‘chute some photos: Bird’s eye view of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, taken by paragliding photographer

November 9, 2013 8:05 pm Comments Off on Lets ‘chute some photos: Bird’s eye view of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, taken by paragliding photographer Views: 440

These are the breathtaking images of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, taken by a globetrotting paraglider.

Highflying photographer Jody Macdonald, 37 sailed at speeds of 35kph and reached altitudes of 20,000ft over some of the most remote landscapes in the world to get her photographs.

From the remote sand dunes in Mozambique to the deep Sierra mountains, Jody from Idaho, braved freezing temperatures to capture the stunning views.

An 800 mile paragliding expedition following the Sierra Mountain Range Flying over a lake in the Sierra mountain range that runs dramatically through Nevada and California

An 800 mile paragliding expedition following the Sierra Mountain RangeThe Sierra mountains stretch for more than 205 miles, offering spectacular views of remote landscapes and valleys

An 800 mile paragliding expedition following the Sierra Mountain RangeThe Sierra range runs from the Mojave Desert to northern California, dotted with lakes and forests

Moroccan mountain range Jody’s travels took her to the high, remote villages on the Moroccan mountain range

 a Moroccan mountain rangeThe valleys of Morocco showed a fascinating range of colours from the air

a Moroccan mountain rangeThe dizzying sight of the dry earth below in Morocco

 a Morrocan moutain rangerSunset showed the mountains off in another range of soft colours, extending off into the distance

A self-taught paragliding pilot and passionate photographer, Jody began combining her two passions over a decade ago.

She said the best way to capture her images was at high altitudes but the below freezing temperature, thin air and turbulant conditions at this height made it a serious challenge.

She said: ‘I learned to paraglide with my brother in Alaska. We did it on our own, without instruction.  Although that’s not a method I’d recommend to others.

‘I spent the last eight years sailing around the world and I’ve had an amazing opportunity to paraglide over some of the world’s most stunning landscapes.

Paragliding through the HimalayasJody braved freezing temperatures through the snow-topped Himalayas

Jody coming into land, IndiaThe view of Jody coming into land on a hilltop in India

A paraglider exploring the cliffs of Sao Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal Exploring the jagged cliffs of Sao Miguel Island of the Azores, Portugal

 flying over the ancient trees that make up the Dead Vlei, NamibiaFlying over the ancient trees that make up the arid Dead Vlei, Namibia

‘The vantage point of shooting from an angle many people don’t get to see is very interesting as a photographer.

‘I’ve always loved art classes and being creative, so when I took a photography course in University I just never looked back.

‘I’ve flown over the Sierras, which is the mountain range through Nevada and California, the terrain is beautiful, lots of lakes and mountains.

‘When we’re flying we can easily reach 20,000ft. The views are incredible but it can get intensely cold up there. It gets very challenging to work a camera at those heights.

‘I’m always amazed by the landscape when I’m up there, but its not place you can sustain for long.

 a beach in TurkeyThe deep blue waters off a beach in Turkey, one of Jody’s many stop-offs on her eight-year journey

 newly discovered sand dune in MozambiqueJody’s sailing and paragiliding around the world also took her to the sand dunes of Mozambique

 sand dune in MozambiqueAlthough Jody loves the view from her paraglider, she said that she cannot stay that high up for long

 a newly discovered sand dune in MozambiqueFlying over this sand dune in Mozambique was Jody’s favourite experience of all the places she saw

 sand dune in MozambiqueFlying from the sand dune in Mozambique to the Indian Ocean

‘Paragliding is inherently dangerous, accidents happen all the time.  Strong thermals, wind, rapidly changing weather, storms- the air can be super turbulent at times which makes it hard to stay still enough to capture any photos.

‘If things go really wrong and you can’t recover your wing you have to throw your reserve parachute. It’s important to maintain the balance between getting good photographs and staying safe.  Finding the balance is important.

‘It’s really important to know when to photograph and when the conditions are too difficult that it’s no longer safe to photograph.

‘My favourite experience paragliding was on an outer remote island in Mozambique. We sailed across from Madagascar and found a 20 mile sand dune that had never been flown before.  To fly a place like that for the first time, on the edge of green waters of the Indian ocean, it was completely surreal.’

‘I’m frequently overwhelmed by how beautiful the landscape is, and trying to capture it is a job that keeps me inspired.’

 the Sierra Mountain RangeJody flying over the Sierra mountains as seen from the rocks below

 A beautiful maze of sand and sea dotted with a local fishing dhow, Bazaruto Archipelago, MozambiqueThe beautiful maze of sand and sea dotted with a local fishing dhow at the Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique

 the coast in ScotlandJody braved the icy winds of the Scottish coast to see it from the air

Paraglider Gavin McClurg hangs over incredible tropical lagoon in Huahine, French PolynesiaShe photographed fellow paraglider Gavin McClurg as he hangs over an incredible tropical lagoon in Huahine, French Polynesia

Paraglider Jody MacdonaldJody finally on dry land, enjoying a white sandy beach

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