You could say, Vern Whitten is documenting a piece of North Dakota history.
The Fargo photographer has the best view in watching the Bakken boom.
Vern Whitten says, "a lot of people want to see these pictures not only in ND but all over the country. We have beautiful country want to show it off."
What he's showing off, is North Dakota's Bakken.
Every month Vern heads to oil country to document the progress of rig and well sites, how pipeline construction is moving along and how small towns are growing.
"You name it we take it. The first time went up was in winter time. The rigs in the snow are gorgeous. You hear about frac sites, I had never seen it before. Neat to see it and take pictures of it," says Whitten.
During some flights he snaps 1,000 pictures.
Whitten says, "they are more than just pretty pictures, they are someone's oil rig, something showing what's taking place in ND."
He see's it all. And what still catches his eye are the people behind the oil development.
"The amount of people working down there is amazing, process a picture and you can see them down there working," says Whitten.
Before taking to the sky to document North Dakota's oil boom, the Fargo photographer didn't know too much about oil.
He does know North Dakota though, and says from his window, the natural beauty of the landscape still outshines development.
"You hear about all the bad stuff going on, there's a lot of beautiful country in ND, that's not changing. We fly through the badlands, Lake Sakakawea. It's beautiful all types of year."
The true beauty of western North Dakota is what inspires the man behind the lens.
He and his pilot work together to get the great shots to show off to the rest of the world that is looking to see the Bakken.
"We got the best seat in the house," says Whitten.
Whitten has been taking aerial photos for 30 years, mainly in the Red River Valley.
He was also known for documenting the 1997 flood in eastern North Dakota.