looking down on a small Logan Air plane as it flies over Stromness Harbour

Angle of vision

image: Gunnie Moberg


Gunnie Moberg saw things differently. One reason for that was her angle of vision, taking to the skies when she worked on the Logan Air desk. In 1858 Nadar made aerial photographs of Paris from his specially equipped hot air balloon. More than a century later, Captain Andy Alsop flew the Islander plane while Gunnie made images that showed Orkney in a new way. The low altitude of both balloon and the small plane allowed Nadar and Moberg to make oblique photographs as well as vertical ones. Gunnie’s place in aerial art photography is noted in Scottish Photography: A History (Tom Normand 2007, Luath Press)

rows of corn stooks from above looking like a diagonal row of yellow dots on a green page

image: Gunnie Moberg Stooks, Orkney

view from above of Barrier Three, a causeway linking two islands. Snow has dusted the land and in the sea likes the hulk of a rusting ship put there to block access to the channel before the causeway was built.

image: Gunnie Moberg Churchill Barrier Number Three, Orkney

There had been reconnaissance photographs documenting Orkney to gather military intelligence, beautiful if sinister. Here Gunnie was making art, delighting in shapes, simplifying, gathering a different sort of intelligence.

‘Seeing Orkney from the air was just amazing. For years I did a lot of aerial photography. I loved the patterns of silage cutting in the summer, the many archaeological sites looking like pieces of jewellery far below me, and the low light in winter, which showed up the texture of the landscape and made wonderful long shadows along the dykes and ditches.’

Gunnie Moberg, preface to Orkney, 2006, Birlinn.

looking down directly on top of the chambered tomb of Maeshowe, the flattened perspective makes the monument appears like an egg with the tomb itself the yolk

image: Gunnie Moberg Maeshowe, Orkney

A group of sheep turn in a stone built raised enclosure while the sea lashes the base of the structure, black and white aerial photograph

image: Gunnie Moberg Sheep fort, Skerry, South of Ruskholm

The phrase ‘angle of vision’ is borrowed from the wonderful poem of the same name by Orkney’s Robert Rendall.

4 thoughts on “Angle of vision

  1. Pingback: A found kiss | The Gunnie Moberg Archive

  2. Pingback: Stone Built by Gunnie Moberg, rebuilt. | Document Scotland

  3. Pingback: Stone Built by Gunnie Moberg, rebuilt. – Document Scotland

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