I was thrilled the other day to have an opportunity to fly around the shores of Mono Lake, California, with celebrated aerial photographer (and pilot since the age of 14) Michael Light. The images seen here are photos I took while airborne.

A long interview with Michael is forthcoming here on v-e-n-u-e.com soon; for now, I thought I'd post some photos I was able to take while up in the air, circling over freshwater streams and flocks of birds, over the black gravel of dead volcanoes and tourist parking lots, limiting myself here only to some Instagrams, while other, shall we say more "real," photographs will be coming soon.

It was my first flight in anything other than a commercial aircraft—in fact, I am not normally a huge fan of flying—and the experience was incredible.

If it's possible to be bitten by a kind of aerial bug, a compulsion to be up in the air, to experience the landscape not as ground but as a relatively unpredictable series of atmospheric events, then I think that's what just happened to me.

Michael did all of the heavy lifting—avoiding turbulence, "crabbing" the plane into the wind to escape imminent misdirection, and circling us over geological features, such as the exquisite Panum Crater—

—and local houses, including Michael's own off-the-grid residence, while I enthusiastically snapped dozens of photos and tried to keep up with Michael's detailed introduction to the geology of the region, from ancient calderas and glassine lava fields to the effects of terrain on otherwise invisible local airflow patterns.

Stay tuned for our long interview with Michael Light; for now, enjoy the photos.

And thanks to Michael Light for an extraordinary tour of Mono Lake.