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Drone Country: See America From Above

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House boats appear next to the shoreline of Bidwell Canyon on Lake Oroville in Northern California on November 25, 2014. Lake Oroville is California's second largest reservoir, and is currently 70% empty as a result of the state's severe drought. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. USA, 2014.

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Campers appear in an RV park in Fernley, Nevada on November 25, 2014. The nearby Amazon Fulfillment Center recruits people living out of RVs to work on the floor of their warehouse during peak holiday shipping season. Many of the campers are senior citizens whose homes or savings were wiped out by the 2008 economic crisis. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. USA, 2014.

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A parking lot for an Amazon fulfillment center appears in New Jersey on November 11, 2014. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. USA, 2014.

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A residential apartment complex appears in Poughkeepsie, New York on November 9, 2014. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. USA, 2014.

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Vacation homes appear on the New Jersey Shore on November 11, 2014. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. USA, 2014.

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An empty drive-in movie theater appears in Poughkeepsie, New York on November 9, 2014. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. USA, 2014.

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A farm house and field appear outside Trenton, New Jersey on November 11, 2014. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. USA, 2014.

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Cows gather for water and alfalfa distributed by a rancher in a drought-devastated pasture in Merced County, California on November 26, 2014. As with many areas of the Central Valley of California, these cows would not be able to survive without this kind of supplemental nutrition. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. USA, 2014.

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A run-down neighborhood appears in North Camden, New Jersey on November 23, 2014. In 2012, the FBI ranked Camden as having the most violent crime per capita of any American city with a population of over 50,000. The local police installed millions of dollars of surveillance equipment in residential neighborhoods, including cameras and microphones that detect the exact location of gunshots. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. USA, 2014.

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Horse stalls appear near Fernley, Nevada on November 24, 2014. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. USA, 2014.

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A swamp appears near Brookfield, Connecticut on November 8, 2014. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. USA, 2014.

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Beachfront vacation units appear on Cape Cod, Massachusetts on Nov. 7, 2014. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. USA, 2014.

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The USS New Jersey, a decommissioned battleship, appears on the Delaware river off Camden, New Jersey on November 23, 2014. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. USA, 2014.

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A college campus appears in Poughkeepsie, New York on November 9, 2014. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. USA, 2014.

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Lacrosse players warm up before practice in Clark County, Nevada on January 20, 2014. The nearby Creech Air Force is the main command center for overseas drone strikes. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. USA, 2014.

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Wiggins Park Marina appears in Camden, New Jersey on November 23, 2014. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. USA, 2014.

Pulitzer grantee Tomas van Houtryve's drone series is featured in a print and online feature for Time Magazine.

When a drone looks at a thing, that thing has a way of looking like a target. People become silhouettes at a shooting range. Buildings look vulnerable, their roofs helplessly exposed and defenseless. Most colors disappear, and the remaining blacks, whites and greys evacuate the scene of all human meaning. What we see becomes data: body counts, damage reports, strategic value.

In these photos, shot as part of an ongoing series, Belgian photographer Tomas van Houtryve looks at America through the eyes of a drone, a small quadcopter he bought online and equipped with a high-resolution camera. “A drone seems particularly appropriate because it’s increasingly how America views the rest of the world,” he says. “I wanted to turn things around. What do we look like from a drone’s-eye view? Suspicious? Prosperous? Free and happy?” Every age brings with it new technology for looking at the world. Van Houtryve has embraced the technology of ours.

See the full text and photo essay as featured by Time Magazine.