Jeffrey Milstein’s Vertigo-Inducing Photos of New York City from a Helicopter


If you’ve been suffering from city-induced claustrophobia, Jeffrey Milstein‘s spectacular aerial photographs of the city might renew your appreciation for the Big Apple. Taken from the open door of a helicopter at an altitude of 1,000 to 2,000 feet, these high-res images capture the elegant geometric patterns hidden in this densest of urban jungles. Now on view at Benrubi Gallery, they’re a reminder that there’s at least some method to the city’s madness. And though they might induce vertigo in the acrophobic, the photographs are strangely calming in their zoomed-out perspective, a bit like a New York-specific version of Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot.” 

Familiar landmarks are rendered unrecognizable from a bird’s eye view: the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a silvery blueprint; the Statue of Liberty is a glowing green speck at the center of an 11-pointed mandala. And architecture that’s unremarkable from street level, like the monochromatic red brick buildings of Stuyvesant Town, resembles an abstract geometric composition from this above-it-all vantage point. The level of detail in these high-res photos means they’re not without of signs of human life–you can still make out tiny cars and pedestrian specks. Milstein, who’s best known for his shots of airplanes in flight photographed from directly below, gave the same bird’s eye treatment to Los Angeles, but we’re most taken with his images of the Beast Coast.

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LA NY is on view at the Benrubi Gallery in Manhattan until August 22.

[via The Guardian]