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14 MIN READ TIME

New York from Above

NAVID BARATY

Looking down from up high is one of my favourite ways to see a city. I started my aerial street series in 2009 in Tokyo, when I saw amazing geometric patterns on the street below me. When I moved to New York a year later, I decided to continue the series to see what it would say about that city. I’ve worked mostly in Midtown and Chelsea, the two areas of Manhattan with the most, and highest, skyscrapers around. Doing real estate photography initially gave me access to a lot of rooftops, and then I’d often go back to shoot at sunset or at night; when the city lights come on, there’s a completely different feel. I don’t have a fear of heights – I’m mostly afraid of dropping equipment – and I find the experience amazing. Most people don’t get to see New York like this. You can’t really get a sense of how much is going on until you look down on the city and can see all its motion; you realise it’s a dynamic, living thing. To me, the photos showcase the city’s energy and flow – the streams of taxis, the traffic, the honking horns and the pedestrians crossing. Every time I look at one of my pictures, I find something that I haven’t seen before.

I took this at 6th Avenue and 42nd Street, looking straight down the edge of a glass skyscraper. I like shooting this way as I get interesting reflections of everything around me. This reminds me of Inception or The Matrix – it looks like something from a different dimension.
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December 2016
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