Lonely Planet Writer

These aerial shots of the Dead Sea look like abstract paintings

You may not be able to tell at first glance, but these stunning, colourful images are actually aerial shots of the Dead Sea, a distinctive landscape known for its cobalt-blue waters and jagged terrain. The shots were captured by Tzvika Stein, who regularly frequents the area. “I’m an Israeli landscape photographer”, Tzvika tells Lonely Planet News, “and the Dead Sea is one of my favorite places to shoot. I go there often, and I’m mesmerised both by the salt formations and the amazing reflections that are so common to see there.”

The Dead Sea from above. Image by Tzvika Stein

Though he’d photographed the area many times before, Tzvika had always been aware that parts of the region aren’t very accessible. Eager to see what lay beyond the parameters of exploring by foot, he sent his drone high above the region – resulting in these incredible, vibrant shots. “Nowadays, it’s considered too dangerous to walk in the area, though there are still adventurous photographers who do so. Personally, I walk and photograph the safer parts, and use my drone to photograph the sinkholes while staying on safe grounds.”

The landscape looks like an abstract painting. Image by Tzvika Stein

Working with the drone gave Tzvika a whole new perspective of the area, allowing him to see the landscape’s unusual, pretty patterns. “It was fascinating”, he says. “I started flying over the area recently, and when passing over the dried-out parts, I came upon amazing shapes and colors. It all looks like paintings – abstract pieces of art. After a while, the brain starts to look for familiar shapes, and that’s when I started noticing the heart and the eyes, which were the first images in the series.”

The photographs were taken from a drone. Image by Tzvika Stein

“The colors of the soil and the water were the most surprising”, he continues. “From ground level it’s hard to notice, but when you go over it and with hard sunlight, the colors become very vibrant. To see blues, next to reds, greens and yellows, was extraordinary in my eyes.” Of the many images he captured, which does he prefer? “I think the heart would be my favorite”, he says. “I love the color of the water, and also, it took the most number of visits to get to a composition I was happy with.”