Stunning Nighttime Aerial Photos Show NYC From a Helicopter at 7,500 Feet

New York City delivers some pretty amazing scenery for photographers—from vivid street life to some of the greatest architecture around. And when shooting after dark, the bright lights of the city offer a vibrancy and thrill that is unmatched. Now, imagine New York at night, but from the sky… really, really high in the sky. These aerial images taken from a helicopter at 7,500 feet are beyond impressive and really make you appreciate the scale of NYC:

Photographer Vincent Laforet had the amazing opportunity to go on assignment in the sky for Men’s Health Magazine. Laforet wanted to shoot from an unusually high altitude to really capture the lines formed by the city streets at night. Harnessed in safely, he basically hung out the open door of the helicopter to get these stunning shots. Helicopters vibrate quite a bit as it is, but adding in the crazy altitude made for a pretty shaky and nerve-racking flight.

To be able to shoot at the necessary high shutter speed, Laforet was equipped with the Canon 1DX and the Mamiya Leaf Credo 50 MP Back, which are both capable of shooting clean files at 3200 and 6400 ISO. He used a series of  f/2.8 to f/1.2 lenses including a few tilt-shift lenses, as you can see in the images.

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