Writer Joseph J. Airdo // Photography by Anthony Giammarino

Anyone who has ever traveled by plane into Sky Harbor International Airport knows that truly transcendent feeling of experiencing Arizona’s majestic landscape during the descent. What at first appears to be a breathtaking display of abstract art slowly comes into focus as recognizable forms, albeit from an entirely different perspective.

We spend the vast majority of our lives at ground level, viewing our surroundings from a relatively close distance. Mountain ranges are often relegated to faraway features of a picturesque skyline. Saguaros are seen as green giants who hover high above our heads. Our city streets are perceived as black pathways that lead to locations beyond our field of vision.

We are often told that in order to see beauty and to understand the enormity of the universe, we should look to the heavens and bear witness to the many constellations that sprinkle across the sky. But reversing that view and beholding our world from above provides the same insight and so much more.

Media creative Anthony Giammarino has made a living out of capturing imagery of our world from this perspective.

“Seeing everything from the ground level gives you a narrow perspective of what the world actually is,” Giammarino says. “When you zoom out and see things from an aerial perspective, it really makes you appreciate everything nature has given us in a different way.”

That is especially true of our Arizona landscape, whose unparalleled beauty is exponentially amplified from the aerial perspective. Our topography truly is a work of art — especially when viewed from above.

Images Arizona’s photo essay this month is devoted to sharing a selection of Giammarino’s photography, captured by drone, with the hope that it inspires our readers to broaden their perspective of our absolutely stunning state and see its aesthetic splendor from a new angle.

About the Photographer

Anthony Giammarino was born and raised in Binghamton, New York. Having had a passion for creating videos and photography since a very young age, picking up a camera has always felt natural to him. He began flying drones in 2015 as a hobby and discovered what an incredible tool the drone can be in the creation of aerial media.

In 2018, Giammarino founded Airobird Drones and began shooting media for Binghamton-area real estate agents. Desiring more out of life and wanting to get out of his hometown, he began thinking about moving to Phoenix as it had always been his dream to live out west. He had already been visiting his uncle, who lived in Arizona, but these visits became more frequent when one of his best childhood friends moved to the state.

Giammarino brought his drone along with him on these visits and, observing the Sonoran Desert’s beauty from above, he ultimately decided to move to the area. He immediately started marketing his business, making connections with local real estate agents and shooting property videos with his drone while working as a rideshare driver.

Airobird Drones is now Giammarino’s full-time job. He has also started AntsDrone, an Instagram account dedicated to photography of Arizona landscapes captured from incredible aerial perspectives. Although he loves exploring, finding new areas to capture and has traveled all over Arizona, Giammarino’s favorite place in the state is Sedona.

“You can never capture a bad shot in Sedona — especially with a drone,” Giammarino explains. “Sedona is its own work of art. [Seeing Arizona’s] sunsets combined with the red rocks is something special and unique; and something that I never take for granted.”

Giammarino still pinches himself each morning in disbelief that he is fortunate enough to live and do what he loves in Arizona.

“This truly is the best place on Earth to be,” he says.