Divide, New York, 2014

I have a dear friend that lives in NYC and I try to visit every ~12-18months. I had gone on this trip for my 27th Birthday (Nov 6, 2014) and I was staying with my friend on the Upper East Side. The company I chartered with was based in Linden New Jersey and I took the subway from the Upper East Side down to Penn Station where I caught a train into NJ and from there took a taxi to the airport so that I could be flown in the helicopter back over Manhattan where I had just come from. I discussed the main areas I wanted to fly over with my Pilot, a very nice young man named Michael, and we created the general flight path.

The time slot I had picked was supposed to align with a sunset flight, however it was incredibly overcast and there was no sunset. Although this disappointed me at the time, this was actually a stroke of luck as it made for some great visuals. I had Central Park on my flight path (this was before the TTR no fly zone) approaching from the east side and then going west – and that is when Central Park West really caught my eye. I took some rapid fire shots of that sight line. Since it was overcast, I had to increase the IOS a bit to allow for a faster shutter – fast shutters are key for this as you’re constantly moving and it can be hard to steady yourself in the vibrating helicopter. I did take other images of Central Park from a higher elevation and more comprehensive view- Divide is the image that really highlights that sight line created by Central Park West at a more intimate vantage point.

The division of Central Park’s saturated foliage and Manhattan’s incredible architecture is comprehended in an entirely different way in this bird’s-eye view. Aerial photography offers a wondrous change in perspective, evoking new emotions from the views seen on foot. I captured this on my first helicopter flight over Manhattan, a birthday gift I’ll never forget!

Location: Manhattan, New York
Photograph Date: 2014
Medium: Chromogenic Print
Edition: 200
Available Sizes: 0.7m to 1.5m

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About the Photographer

Kayte Dolmatch

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