Curiosity is at the heart of photographer Navid Baraty’s image making. Whether he is braving disorienting deserts or capturing total solar eclipses, his interest in the world (and beyond) results in compelling visuals. One of Baraty’s best-known series is the ongoing Hidden City collection. Through it, he takes us above the New York City streets and into skyscrapers that gaze upon the bustling metropolis below. But, there’s a twist; the photographer includes a reflection of the city on the glass buildings to create a dizzying mirror of activity. “It’s kind of fun to think of these reflections,” Baraty tells My Modern Met, “as being a sort of hidden dimension or parallel universe.”
Baraty discovered the reflections by happenstance while visiting one of his first skyscrapers in Manhattan. “I was extending my camera as far over the edge as I could to get as straight down of a shot of the cityscape as possible,” he explains, “and when I looked at the photos in my camera I was blown away by the reflection that I saw in the windows of the skyscraper. It was a total surprise.” The serendipitous sighting inspired him to photograph more locations and perspectives in the city.
The clarity in which Baraty captures every divine detail is done by having both a keen eye and the right equipment. “I use a Nikon D800 for all my work,” he shares. “Most of my aerial images were taken with a 14-24mm wide-angle lens to capture a wider cityscape.” Baraty holds his camera in his hand (secured by a strap around his wrist) and achieves angles that cause viewers to do a double take. “A lot of people think I took these with a drone or from a helicopter or that I’m Spider-Man, but they have all been taken from the tops of buildings.”
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