Vibrant Reflection Photos of NYC Taken by Looking Down from Skyscraper Windows


Wonderful Machine photographer Donna Dotan has stumbled across what she hopes to be a lifelong personal project. Holding her camera outside the window of skyscrapers, Reflections From Above captures the symmetry of the city below by using the reflection of the buildings’s mirror-like exterior.

An architecture photographer by trade and obsessive seeker of symmetry by nature, Dotan says she came across the project by accident.

While shooting an apartment that was for sale at the Mandarin Oriental in Time Warner Center, the scene outside her window caught her eye — or more specifically, the scene below her. In an effort to capture at least something of the frame, she stuck her camera out the window and snapped a frame

It was only when she checked the final result that she realized how strangely beautiful the composition was, and the rest is history… in the making.


In a little Q&A Wonderful Machine conducted with Dotan, she ended on a rather poignant note about what the finding and creation of this series has taught her — something we should all keep in mind when dealing with well-known subjects.

“I’d always thought that New York City had already been photographed from every point of view,” she said. “But the beauty of photography is that there’s always a new perspective to be discovered.”

The series is still in its infancy, so there aren’t many images in the set, but the ones below already show the potential of this interesting approach.




Donna Dotan Photography Inc.

To see more of Dotan’s work, or if you’d like to explore more of what Wonderful Machine has to offer, head over to either of their websites by following the links below.

Image credits: Photographs by Donna Dotan/Wonderful Machine and used with permission

  • Juan Bautista

    Very nice concept splitting images to reflect perspective by Donna.

  • Jack B. Siegel

    The concept is an interesting one, however, I find the colors a distraction. In fact, these are very surprising photographs because so much of her other work is elegant due to the simplicity evident in the photographs. I wonder what one of these photographs would look like as a monochrome.

  • OtterMatt

    Oh, OH… Now I understand it. At first glance, I thought she had just snapped an image and mirrored it in post. Now I get what she’s actually doing. Very neat, actually.

  • OtterMatt

    Some of them might work alright, but my guess is at least a few would look much more jumbled without the color contrast.

  • Jack B. Siegel

    Yes, but I think the color so clouds these photos that the visual cues of the actual and the mirrored gets lost. What I want to know is whether she is hanging from the edge of the roof. I have a huge fear of heights, so I know I could not physically put myself in that sort of position myself to make these images.

  • Smarten_Up

    Is the camera securely tethered, to at least her wrist?
    A two pound camera dropped from those heights….!

  • Leonardo Abreu

    NY <3

  • SwedishKiwi

    Nice! Reminds me of the Mirror City timelapse, although that was mirrored in post.

  • ritapoutige

    Caden .
    I just agree… Roger `s c0mment is something, last week I bought Ford Focus
    after having made $5564 this-past/5 weeks and-just over, 10 grand last month
    . with-out any question its my favourite work Ive ever done . I began this
    8-months ago and immediately started making a cool over $75, per hour . go

  • Future is Now

    Tedious and kitschy.

  • OtterMatt

    I’m pretty sure she’s just holding the camera out of a window, not physically outside the building herself.
    And the more I think about it, the more I think that the color obscuring the line between the real world and the reflection might be the whole point. It’s vaguely surreal, and the symmetry is intriguing at first, but the perfection of it almost starts to put you off when you really inspect the images. It’s a contrast of reaction.
    If you can pull those kinds of reactions out of these images, then that’s enough to qualify it as “art” in my book.

  • OtterMatt

    So is hearing people tear down other, more talented people’s work.

  • Oj0

    Jealousy makes you nasty.

  • Future is Now

    So in your intellectual and aesthetic sphere any legitimate criticism contrary to your taste represents “tearing down”? That’s a pretty limited and fragile sphere, son.

  • OtterMatt

    Absolutely no part of you remark was “legitimate criticism”. Being constructive is legitimate. Waving something down as “tedious” is a clear sign that someone has their head shoved up their backside. How much more photo-hipster could you have sounded?