There is beauty in decaying urban landscapes, but that beauty is distinctly grounded in reality. It’s inextricably linked to humanity’s growing impact on the planet. In Planet Universe, film student Adam Kennedy takes that urban decay and turns it into something out of this world.
Kennedy’s pictures of rusty fire hydrants turned into planets are strange, but they also make a certain kind of sense. Upon close inspection, rounded hydrant tops do kind of look like space-bound objects. Kennedy explains the series on his Indiegogo page, where he is selling calendars, posters, and customized planet images:
The most intriguing aspect of this hobby of mine is how the features of the "planets" form: the decay and the rust are a product of the natural conditions of Earth—just as the features and geography of our home planet are guided by the natural conditions of the solar system. Perhaps more exciting is the notion that there may be planets out there in the universe that look almost identical to the ones I’ve rendered.
According to Wired, the hydrants do need a little tweaking before they can be turned into planets. Kennedy overlays images of dirt, moss, and rocks on top of the fire hydrant bulbs, and turns rust spots and paint into oceans and continents.
Not every city has the older rounded fire hydrant tops that make good planets, but San Francisco—where Kennedy lives—does. So next time you’re strolling the city streets, take a moment to appreciate the hydrants. With a little help from Photoshop, they can be beautiful.