Sheep Meadow in New York City’s Central Park is a popular spot for sleeping and sunbathing, sometimes drawing tens of thousands of people per day. For his project “Sheep Meadow: Vertical Abstracts,” photographer Michael Massaia shot candid portraits of people who are deep in sleep, creating surreal images of intertwined human bodies suspended in darkness.
Massaia tells us that he has been photographing people sleeping in Sheep Meadow since 2006, but this year he began experimenting with the idea of rotating and flipping the images to give them an “otherworldly” look.
“None of the people know I’m photographing them while they’re out there laying in the sheep meadow (and other parks throughout the city), but I want the photos to have the perfection of studio shots,” Massaia says, so he uses a high resolution camera, a wide angle lens, and a powerful flash.
“I get as close as 2 feet from the subject when photographing them,” he tells us. “I use both large format film camera and medium format digital camera to capture these.”
You can find more of Massaia’s work over on his website.
Image credits: Photographs by Michael Massaia and used with permission