Swiss photographer Georg Gerster undertook a dangerous mission to capture the beauty of Iran from the air on film, sticking his camera out a of a plane to do so
Flying on business over Iran, I had been struck by the thought that Persia’s natural and cultural landscape was predestined to be viewed from the air, with its salt deserts, gardens like slices of paradise, and waterless wind-sculpted wastelands. Its settlements are textbook examples of architecture without an architect, and the qanats, underground aqueducts, form graphic patterns. The idea of the bird’s eye view certainly wasn’t incongruous: the Homa, half eagle, half bird of paradise, is a mythical beast of Persian mythology, a harbinger of good fortune. On 12 October 1975 I delivered a letter by hand to the imperial court in Tehran, suggesting that I should produce a book, ‘Persia through the eyes of the Homa’.