Countless cars rust in desert in this award-winning shot
Saturday, December 8, 2018, 3:00 PM -
National Geographic released its pick of the best photos of 2018 and the winner, embedded below, is not only mesmerizing to look at, it also is a sobering reminder of the environmental costs of the way we get around.
The photo below, shot by photographer Jassen Todorov, shows thousands of Volkswagen and Audi cars stashed at a site in the Mojave Desert in California.
"Diesel models manufactured from 2009 to 2015 intentionally cheated emissions tests mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Following the scandal, VW recalled millions of cars," National Geographic explained when it posted the winning photo on its Instagram account.
According to National Geographic, the area, near the Southern California Logistics Airport, became a "boneyard" for recalled vehicles from 2015. Todorov, a concert pianist who is also a flight instructor and photographer, took an interest in the area once he'd heard about it.
Coordinating with flight control in the area, Todorov took several passes to capture his now award-winning shot, and says the sight of it made him emotional.
“These cars are just sitting out there and collecting dust,” he said in a release from National Geographic, later adding: "By capturing scenes like this one, I hope we will all become more conscious and more caring for our beautiful planet."
You can check out the rest of National Geographic's 2018 winners here. As for Todorov himself, his aerial photography is worth checking out on its own. We've embedded some of our favourites from his instagram account below.