Music Professor Jassen Todorov Wins National Geographic Photo Contest

Monday, December 10, 2018
Aerial photo of airplane and thousands of cars parked in Mojave Desert

BORED PANDA -- This year’s grand prize winner was Jassen Todorov, a violinist and professor of music at San Francisco State University, whose aerial shot shows a vast boneyard in Southern California’s Mojave Desert. The area is well-known for storing retired aircraft, where the dry air keeps corrosion away before they are eventually dismantled and scrapped for parts. What many are unaware of, however, is the huge stretch of land nearby that is set aside for recalled vehicles and is filled with row-upon-row of Audis and Volkswagens that cheated emissions tests between 2009 and 2015.

“I have flown and explored the Mojave Desert area quite a few times,” Jassen told Bored Panda about the winning shot. “There are several airports in the Mojave and at least 3 – 4 of them have large boneyards, which I have explored and photographed. It was my first photo flight over Southern California Logistics Airport. I had done some research using Google Maps, so I had a general idea of the position of the cars in relation to the airport.”

Photo: Jassen Todorov’s winning photo for National Geographic depicts thousands of Volkswagen and Audi cars sitting idle in the middle of California’s Mojave Desert.