Hegen's photos depict the Lusatia mining district in eastern Germany, from which roughly a third of the country's lignite hails. Curious to see it, he hired a helicopter pilot to fly him out it in 2017. He spent about two hours peering down through his camera at the surreal colors and texture below. "It was absolutely otherworldly," he says.And that's just the point of his images: Humans have a knack for making Earth look less and less like itself, and more and more like something out of a dystopian wasteland.
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