Shortcuts are nothing new, but most folks are too busy absentmindedly following—or initiating—them to stop and truly notice the way these trails regrid the pedestrian landscape. Dutch photographer Jan-Dirk van der Burg spent four years capturing the evocatively dubbed olifantenpaadjes—literally “elephant paths”—all over the Netherlands. The results provide a droll glimpse into a most basic animal instinct: to conveniently close the gap from here to there.
No path? No problem. The desire lines in this Dutch photo essay prove that people are quite comfortable going their own way.
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