Hello again. I still have lots more #askextremeross that I’m working through. Today I’m answering @surfish95747 who wrote: “This is incredible. What does flying that high do to your entire perspective? When I fly at 10,000 MSL, I feel closer to it all somehow. It all seems so much more grand than when I am on the ground. I can’t even imagine what it would be at your altitudes!”
This is a well documented phenomenon know as the “Overview Effect”. Back in the 80’s, Frank White wrote a book about it where he interviewed many of the former and present astronauts. Universally, no matter whether it was an astronaut or cosmonaut, or shuttle pilot, or someone who had walked on the moon, they all experienced this feeling of being more connected with the Earth by seeing it from afar.
Everyone can experience this to some effect just looking out a plane window. White found that the effect was stronger the further you got from the Earth. Looking down from a U-2 definitely gives you a renewed perspective on the world. I’ve always tried to capture that feeling of awe with my photography.
This photo gives a small taste of the overview effect for me. Lake Tahoe is not only one of the most beautiful places on Earth, it also has many personal connections for me. I made my best friend while primarily skiing the slopes of Squaw Valley and Homewood. I proposed to her after a faked injury on the slopes of Homewood and then married her in South Lake Tahoe. All of that is contained in this one photo, along with much of the Sierras. You can see where your one little piece of existence fits in a much bigger world.