So much of the experience of Manhattan involved being surrounded by the tall buildings that to suddenly be “outside” it—perhaps on a sunny morning, on a ferry—it a bit surprising.
The brightly colored helicopters leaving the heliport on the East River stand out against gray and green colors of Brooklyn.
Just moments later, that color palette swaps—a colorless helicopter in front of colorful buildings. Perhaps my favorite detail of this image is just how much you can see of the passenger (first officer?) in the window of the Eurocopter, adding a human element to an array of otherwise designed/manufactured structures.
Cityscapes were the images that first really drew me to photography—those images with seemingly infinite detail. Zooming deeper and deeper reveals trees and cars and people down at street level. Surpassing the current limits in this respect will probably mean a new camera (or a real commitment to multi-shot panoramas.)
Given the catastrophic cost of real estate at the southern end of Manhattan, a look at the use of rooftop space reveals a sharp contrast: roofs are either lush garden spaces or barren mechanical utility areas. I had expected to see more “in between” spaces among the penthouses—casually or informally used rooftops. I guess nothing spends more than a few hours on a New York rooftop without a reason to be there.
On this bright Sunday morning, I finally photographed the mighty Manhattan skyline from high above its (mostly) rectilinear grid. This is my favorite kind of photograph: The expanse of cloud-dappled space stretches all the way to tree-covered hills at the horizon and the cityscape seems to offer infinite detail down at the level of individual windows.
Visiting Governors Island (lacking that apostrophe since 1784) for the first time this weekend, I was astonished to see its historic buildings standing in such contrast to the sleekly modern shape of One World Trade Center in the distance. The island is only 800 yards off the coast of Manhattan, but seems a generation away.
I caught John Wick Chapter 3 in theaters this weekend; that movie’s take on New York City inspired me to finish processing my RAWs from my October 2018 trip to photograph its downtown skyline. Perhaps that sense of a hidden world lurking around every corner is captured in the details along the shore.