Something he has “dreamed of capturing for decades,” Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Vincent Laforet has released a stunning set of images that captures his hometown of New York in a way that has never before been seen. Taken from a nauseating 7500-feet above the city, Laforet’s “Gotham 7.5K” series reveals the unrelenting, pulsating energy that radiates from the Big Apple’s city grid.
“I’ve flown several hundred hours around the world – this was the scariest flight,” said Laforet, who has previously photographed terrorist attacks and natural disasters. “When you’re up that high, you have a lot of time to think of the fact that helicopters aren’t the most ergonomic aircraft in the world.”
The vantage point above the city allowed him to create images that show how the jumbled roads of Downtown make way for the strict grid of numbered avenues – running south-west to north-east – and streets arranged perpendicular.
Manhattan is marked out between the dark snaking forms of the Hudson River that separates it from New Jersey, and the East River that forms a boundary between the island and the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.
Clearly visible is the cluster of skyscrapers around Midtown, including the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and Rafael Vińoly’s skinny 432 Park Avenue – which is due to complete later this year and is already taller than both of the older buildings.
More zoomed-in images reveal congested roads, and the illuminated windows in office and residential buildings across “the city that never sleeps”. The bright lights of LED billboards surrounding Times Square and river crossings are easily identifiable.
All images by Vincent Laforet