Photographer Alex Maclean released an album of shots he’s taken to show points of view that are rarely seen–aerial views.

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People are obsessed with seeing things from a different perspective, and for good reason. How cool to be able to fly over and photograph the world, producing images unlike anyone else. Flight is already one of man’s greatest inventions and now people simply continue to push the boundaries of amazing feats.

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How strange to consider that before 1903 the sky was simply inhabited by birds and insects. Then, two brothers decided they wanted–nay, needed–to see the world as our feathered comrades. We have taken such an incredible accomplishment to such lengths it can be easy to overlook how significant their first plane ride was. Thanks to those two gentlemen, men like Alex Maclean can now hire a pilot (if he needs to) and give those that have never left the ground insights into a world (and sights) beyond imaginations.

The unsung hero of flight are the pilots. In this instance, Mister Maclean chose to stick his camera lens out of the plane he flew himself. Maclean became a pilot for his art and we are lucky to have his perspective, but he isn’t the only person making us think about the view from the sky.

With all the hype around jumping out of planes all the time, the most under-appreciated view seems to be from the inside of the plane looking out. Pilots, it would seem, have the best views in the world. There are different avenues you can take to put yourself in the clouds. You could choose the metaphorical path and keep your head up there, or you could follow the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and become a Pilot in the Navy, Army or Air Force. The role of an ADF Pilot is about as far from an ‘ordinary’ job as you can get.

There are, naturally, a number of additional requirements you need to meet in order to get accepted, but earning your wings will always make every trial and tribulation worth it in the end.

You will be assessed based on your suitability during training, which includes information processing, the ability to perform cognitive tasks and manual activities simultaneously. You will also be evaluated against a checklist of personal qualities and physical requirements. Each is as significant as the last and each time you pass you’ll feel yourself rising above the normal 9-5, behind a desk, reality that could have been your future employment if you hadn’t given yourself this chance.

No one can ever clip your wings after you’ve earned them, so long as you treat them with the respect they deserve. You’ll be among some of the most elite and well-trained in the Australian Defence Force and won’t need to sing about the view from commercial flights. The ADF is your chance to see the veins of your city ‘like they do in space’, but this time from the cockpit of your very own plane.

For more information on the entry requirements and range of job roles available, visit defencejobs.gov.au.