- Associated Press - Saturday, June 14, 2014

PINE GROVE MILLS, Pa. (AP) - Steve Benner is searching - for what, he’s not sure.

He’ll know when he sees it.

Benner’s at the controls of a Cessna Skylark II, high over Ferguson Township, not far from his Pine Grove Mills home. He peers out his side window at the ground below, scanning for something unusual, noteworthy, photogenic.

His Canon digital camera sits on his lap, ready to go.

A veteran aerial survey pilot, Benner, 53, now takes different types of shots from above - dramatic images of landscapes full of color, shapes, light, shadows and textures, geography as art.

He has captured memorable perspectives of desert and mountain terrain, but on this May morning, a simple farm field catches his eye.

It’s a study in green, an irresistible checkerboard of cut and fallow sections. Most people would pass right by it on the ground, but Benner literally brings a different perspective.

This is worth a few clicks.

He slows the plane to about 80 knots and opens his window. Cool air rushes into the cabin.

“With that much green and that much sun today, this might work,” he says over the roar.

Quickly shifting from the controls, he leans over and snaps off some shots. If they turn out good, once again he’ll have found gold.

“It could be anything,” he later says. “That’s much of the fun of it: not going out with any intention to shoot anything, just seeing what you can find.”

Finding looks

He has discovered plenty of masterpieces.

Preserved by his lens, eastern Maine wild blueberry bogs seen from the air resemble a mottled wound, full of purple swatches and ponds forming dark whorls.

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