Photographer Discovers a “Hidden City” in Reflections of New York City Skyscrapers

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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.”

See the world from a different angle when you scroll down.

Through his ongoing series Hidden City, Navid Baraty captures dizzying aerial pictures of New York City.

Aerial Pictures of New York City by Navid BaratyAerial Pictures of New York City by Navid Baraty

The photos showcase not only the metropolis below but the city reflected in the windows of the skyscrapers.

Aerial Pictures of New York City by Navid BaratyNew York City Landscape PhotographyNew York Aerial Photos

“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.”

New York City Landscape PhotographyNew York Aerial PhotosNew York Aerial PhotosNew York City Photos

Navid Baraty: Website | Instagram | Facebook

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Navid Baraty. 

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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