Rain-Slicked City Streets Capture “The Upside Down” in Puddle Reflections

The Upside Down Glow by Xavier Portela

Belgian photographer Xavier Portela is known for his electrifying Glow series, where the world’s buzzing city streets are captured in neon hues. Each hyper-saturated image emulates an eerie, cinematic mood and could easily be mistaken for the set of Blade Runner. However, for his latest work, Portela takes inspiration from another, equally dangerous fantasy world—Netflix’s Stranger Things.

The Upside Down Glow collection comprises some of Portela’s images from the last two years, including photos from New York, Hong Kong, Chicago, and Busan. Gathering his best photos of rain-slicked streets and puddle reflections, Portela digitally flipped them vertically, to create the illusion of “the upside down” dimension. The photographer told My Modern Met, “I had that in mind since I saw Stranger Things and their Upside Down world, I was thinking maybe sometimes I could capture a reflection so good that you don't feel right away that it is a reflection, even if you are looking at it upside down.”

At first glance, it’s hard to tell which part of the image is the reflection and which part is real life. A closer look reveals the top part of the images as slightly blurry, rippled versions of reality. Each image looks as though you could jump into the puddled surfaces into another dimension.

Scroll down to check out Portela’s vibrant The Upside Down Glow series and find more from his ever-growing portfolio on his website.

Inspired by Stranger Things, photographer Xavier Portela “upside down” photographs show the world in another dimension.

The Upside Down Glow by Xavier PortelaThe Upside Down Glow by Xavier PortelaThe Upside Down Glow by Xavier Portela

The Upside Down Glow series sees rain-slicked streets and puddle reflections as otherworldly realities.

The Upside Down Glow by Xavier PortelaThe Upside Down Glow by Xavier PortelaThe Upside Down Glow by Xavier PortelaThe Upside Down Glow by Xavier PortelaThe Upside Down Glow by Xavier Portela

Xavier Portela: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Xavier Portela.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
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