Voyeuristic Portraits of New Yorkers Seen Through Apartment Windows

The photographs in photographer Gail Albert Halaban‘s series Out My Window are unsettling and beautiful at the same time. Each of them shows people framed by open apartment windows in New York City — quite creepy if the images are actually of unsuspecting strangers. At the same time, the voyeur is quite a photographer, as each shot perfectly balances the lighting of the subject inside with the cityscapes and brick walls outside.

The scenes were actually all staged, and are intended to share something that Halaban says New Yorkers can relate to: “connecting” with neighbors through apartment windows.

Here’s what Halaban says about the project,

I’m a photographer and therefore I’m a voyeur, and I’m a New Yorker and therefore I’m a voyeur. I think every city has its own way that people connect to their neighbors. In LA it’s through the car window. In New York, I think it’s through the apartment window.

You can find more of these images over on Halaban’s website:

Out My Window by Gail Albert Halaban (via Feature Shoot)

Image credits: Photographs by Gail Albert Halaban and used with permission

  • branden rio

    You can tell Halaban is from New York because he managed to work in a good LA bash into his statement.

  • Pixelsmithy

    If you look at the 2nd to last shot that you posted, you’ll see that this is simply photo-realistic HDR. The yellow tree in the left was moving in the wind during the multiple exposures and so is blurred in the combined HDR. Its blur is also (inexplicably) cut-off cleanly by the building, which had to be a post-processing decision. Anyone can “balance” the light if one is combining multiple exposures, some of which are designed to capture the indoor lighting and others designed to capture the ambient light of the scene.

  • Voy Err

    I can tell these are staged. I’ve lived in New York for 30 years, and worn out 4 pairs of binoculars trying to spot something enticing out my window. The most entertaining thing I’ve seen was in 1986 as someone dropped their sandwich off their balcony and it landed on a passing dog.

  • Slash_Cynic

    Another slow news day on Peta.

  • uninspired

    If you look at the loop in the e of the word “meh”, you will see a box that contains just about all of my excitement for these. Really not original or very well staged. How did I know, even before I checked, that this was the work of a privileged, Ivy-leaguer? Truly uninspiring.

  • harumph

    In the first paragraph you pretend that the images might be candids (“quite creepy if the images are actually of unsuspecting strangers”), and then in the second paragraph you reveal that they aren’t (“The scenes were actually all staged…”).

    What’s the point of that, beyond misleading the reader?

  • tduarte

    Edward Hopper all over it!

  • ennuipoet

    If they were real, they kind of go beyond the pale for what is appropriate. I have, and do, shoot people through storefront windows but prying inside someone’s living space is most likely illegal.

  • Dennis

    Come on! Of course these pictures are staged! Doesn’t make them any kind of less worthier… Great photography!

  • harumph

    Lol, so this comment put me on the “comment awaiting moderation” sh*tlist?

  • VengaMooo

    Thse are some pretty amazing images dude. Wow.
    Total-Privacy dot US

  • Paul

    Great photoshopping!

  • Henry

    It’s not illegal. Why would it be.

    Great Pictures.

  • bobdole69


  • Denny

    Interesting concept, so-so execution IMHO. A few of them are quite good, but most are no big deal. Given they’re staged anyway, some could have been done WAY better. For example, the first one on this page. Why have the window frame right thru the woman’s face? Change the angle and show her.

  • Jeremy Hughes

    voyeurism usually entails nudity, why did I click this link?

    The pictures stink, btw, I can take pictures of people standing in their living room windows in Norcal, and NO ONE would give a flying fk, seriously.

  • Monika

    why does it matter it is staged?
    It is a photograph of peeking into a neighbors window. They are still creepy, staging was just a way to produce the work.

    I don’t actually see it as voyeuristic however.
    Sure it is creepy and invasive but nothing very secretive. The models are in fact presenting themselves in front of the window rather than being caught in midst of an activity. It has a very New York feel, the attitude of give me my space but also not very shy.

    It is too perfect though, the editing.
    I would suggest black and white, or Polaroids (the snapshot aesthetic might work well with the idea).

    Great idea, keep working at it