Metaphysics of an Urban Landscape: New York City Filled with Shadows

Metaphysics of an Urban Landscape is an ongoing series of photographs by Milan-based photographer Gabriele Croppi that features high-contrast, black-and-white photographs of major cities around the world. His images often feature a single subject illuminated by a slice of sunlight in front of a background filled with shadows and negative space. His photographs of New York City are especially striking, as a normally chaotic city is turned into a silent play of light and darkness.

In addition to New York City, Croppi has used the same technique in other major cities around the world, including Paris, Moscow, Rome, and London.

Croppi was won a number of awards for his work, most notably the 2011 European Photo Exhibition Award. He currently works in the publishing industry in Milan and teaches at the Italian Institute of Photography. You can see more of his photographs over on his website.

Metaphysics of an Urban Landscape: New York [Gabriele Croppi via mashKULTURE]

Image credits: Photographs by Gabriele Croppi and used with permission

  • Joseph

    Great photos. Reminds me of Ray Metzker.

  • John

    Mmm.. Excellent!

  • Jonathan Maniago

    It’s really refreshing to see these images after viewing countless HDR samples vomiting rainbows of color even in the shadows.

  • sla vieira


  • Sean Lucky

    BAHAHAHA 100% True!!!

  • eraserhead12

    great images. some are a little busy, but I like the drama of high-contrast B&W.

  • Anon

    If he shot these with a Nikon he could recover most of that shadow detail. (purely factious, of course)

  • F200

    I love this! Much, much better than HDRing everything…

  • James

    So true…these are excellent. I love the guy running under the bridge and the woman walking by the car with that excellent reflection. Awesome images.

  • ProtoWhalePig

    I love these. Always been a fan of high contrast and negative space. Hate HDR.

  • mmmarc

    That’s a lot of dodging and burning and more burning!

  • John R

    Finally something new. Great shots and tremendous consistency. Beautiful work

  • Lukas Prochazka

    haha and they told me that best photos you can took when its cloudy because the light its spread and soft…one other approval that you can broke the rules with creativity

  • tron

    really awesome use of negative space. these give off a very “pushed film” vibe, I wonder what his workflow is like

  • jeferson rodrigues

    fantastic world!!