Photos of New York City Inside the Grand Canyon Contrast Emptiness and Density


At the end of 2012, Swiss photographer Gus Petro took a trip to the United States, and was met with a sharp dichotomy. When he visited New York City, he found density in all its glory. But when he followed that up with a trip to the Grand Canyon, he was struck by the sheer emptiness of it.

This led to a project dubbed Empty, Dense, Merge, and the photos below represent the final third of that triad.

The premise is simple. For Dense Petro photographed New York City, a place “where, it seems like, everyone wants to live.” For Empty he photographed The Grand Canyon/Death Valley area, places that are nigh on unlivable.

Merge evolved from the first two. A photo series of creative composites that contrast the density of New York City with the emptiness of The Grand Canyon by putting the former inside the latter:






To see more photos from Petro — including the Empty and Dense series in their entirety — head over to his website by clicking here.

(via New York Magazine)

Image credits: Photographs by Gus Petro

  • That guy

    To scale or gtfo.

  • 4dmaze

    Exactly. Average buildings in NYC range from 400ft/122m to 1776ft/541m max (with spire) and the Grand Canyon is 6000ft/1800m.

    Reminds me of how science fiction movies conveniently gloss over that their science is embarrassingly erroneous for the sake of art.

  • Bill Binns

    That’s what I thought but if he did it to scale it would pretty much just look like a photo of the Grand Canyon. What’s that speck down there? Oh, it’s the Chrysler building.

  • Itsartgetoverit

    BS to both of you. You’re nit pickin’ about scale but what you’re really sayin’ is…sour grapes.

    Keep up the good work Mr. Pedro! Hope there’s more to come.

  • Adam Cross

    imagination or gtfo. whining about scale, seriously.

  • Adam Cross

    to scale would be boring, photography is supposed to be creative, right? he didn’t set out to make a scientific study. =)

  • Adam Cross

    please note the “fiction” part of Science Fiction. Sci-Fi never sets out to be real or true. :)

    and as far as Pedro’s photographs are concerned, I’m pretty sure making a pure, scientific study of how Manhattan would fit into the grand canyon is not what Pedro set out to do here. creativity, photography, art, imagination – not everything has to be set between scientific parameters.

  • Wooks

    Kinda just looks like Los Angeles

  • ProtoWhalePig

    Nice images. Not a paradox, though.

  • Michael Zhang

    Thanks :) We’ve changed that word!