Luis Santos

“Birds flying high, you know how I feel…” – Nina Simone

In Portugal, on Sundays at around 12PM, there’s a TV channel that shows an episode of one of the many Sir David Attenborough’s shows. This has been a recurring occurrence for the past 20-25 years without fail. Ever since I was a child I remember waiting eagerly for those 45 minutes a week, more religiously than if I had ever gone to church. I remember being fascinated by the far and remote places, landscapes, animals, and plants, of things that I would never see, but more than anything I remember feeling awed by the aerial shots. Towering over enormous trees and vast forests, making them look so small and defenseless, as we so often forget they are. Those aerial views and shots gave, and still give, me shivers.

In 2016 I bought, flew a couple of times, and crashed my first drone in Battersea Park. But the sights I saw on that screen will forever be etched on my mind. A point of view that 99% of the 10 million Londoners that dwell in this urban jungle will never get to experience. Like a swallow gliding in early March, it was freedom and beauty above anything.

Impeded by the high cost of a drone back then, I wouldn’t fly again until 2020, but that “unscratchable itch” was always present.
At the height of the pandemic, middle of shutdown and being prisoners in our own home, longing for freedom, I took to the skies once more and never stopped again.

In this exhibition, I will showcase a few works comprised mainly of aerial architectural photography taken both in London and Portugal, taking an up-high look at things we’ve only ever seen from down low.

It’s an absolute pleasure to take part in the London Photo Show for the first, but certainly not the last, time.

Instagram: @the_londroner


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