cities

Glimpses of World War 2 Seen Through Photos of Modern Day Europe

After collecting old World War 2 photographs taken in major European cities, Russian photographer Sergey Larenkov spent a year traveling around Europe to re-photograph the same scenes as they look today. He then carefully combined the old images with the new ones to create photographs that show two views of the same location captured over 60 years apart.

Satellite Photographs Showing the Rapid Spread of Humans Across the Earth

2008 marked the first time in history that more of Earth's population lived in cities rather than in the countryside, and by 2050 nearly 70% of the world's population will reside in large cities. A new series of satellite photographs captured decades apart by NASA's Landsat department and the U.S. Geological Survey offers a striking look at how human cities have spread across the face of the Earth in just a few short years. The image above shows Las Vegas in 1984 and in 2011.

Post-Apocalyptic Photographs of Major Cities Around the World

Silent World is a project by Paris-based artists Lucie & Simon that shows post-apocalyptic views of famous locations around the world. All but one or two of the people in each location are removed from the scene. Rather than use multiple exposures and compositing the images to remove moving objects (e.g. people and cars), they chose to use a neutral density filter -- one that's normally used by NASA for analyzing stars -- in order to achieve extremely long exposure times during the day.

Long Exposure Photos That Capture the Hustle and Bustle of Big Cities

Metropolis is a project by photographer Martin Roemers that consists of long exposure photographs that show the bustle and chaos of large cities.

Specifically, I’m looking at the small stories of the street vendor, the commuter, the passer-by, the market stallholder and other pedestrians, who populate the street or are a part of the traffic. Despite the megacity and its mega-commotion, their environment still maintains a human dimension. I present this by photographing busy locations from above. Moreover, every photo has a long exposure time so that the big city’s vitality is shown through the movement of people and traffic while the image literally focuses on the small story in question. Every megacity is a theatre and every city has a different stage and different actors, but in the end every single one of them is trying to make its way in today’s modern society. [#]

The project was awarded 1st prize in the 2011 World Press Photo competition in the category "Daily Life".

Jaw-Dropping Time-Lapse Shots of Earth

Between August and October of this year, the crew onboard the International Space Station used a Nikon D3S (at high ISOs) to capture photographs of Earth as they zipped around it at 17,000mph. Michael Konig then took the footage and compiled it into this eye-popping time-lapse video showing what our planet looks like from up there.

Living Pictures: Photo Collages of Windows Spotted Around the World

Photographer Anne-Laure House photographs illuminated windows at night in cities around the world, and arranges them into beautiful collages. She writes,

At nightfall, the windows of the flats that are lit up attract more attention than the façade of the buildings that frame them. Lit interiors become real tableaux vivants. The interior takes precedence over the exterior, and we can glimpse moments of people’s intimate lives. I am not actually interested in their intimacy as such, but rather by the space itself – the warmth of a particular light, the twinkling of a Christmas garland or the shimmering glow of a television, the corner of a painting. All these details stir my imagination and inspire my work. When I gaze at these windows, I like to tell myself a story. I capture these intimate moments and build my own structures."

The collage above shows windows seen in New York City.

Time-Lapse Strolls Through the Streets of Famous Cities

Ask a photographer to shoot a time-lapse portrait of a city, and they might choose a number of famous locations to photograph with a fixed camera. Photographer Jesse Kopp, however, prefers to stay at the ground level and photograph what it feels like to actually be roaming around the streets. He visits famous cities around the world and creates time-lapse videos out of photos taken while walking from landmark to landmark. It's an awesome way to get a feel of what each city is like (the video above shows Paris).

Incredible Photos that Capture Day Turning into Night

For his project "Day Into Night", photographer Stephen Wilkes set up a 4x5 camera with a 39-megapixel digital back 40-50 feet off the ground in a cherry picker, and photographed the scene throughout the course of one day. Keeping a constant aperture, he adjusted his shutter speed to compensate for the position of the sun. Afterward, the hundreds of images captured were edited to roughly 30-50 photos, and then seamlessly Photoshopped together to show a gradual transition from day to night.

Unusual Uses for Potholes in Large Cities

Husband and wife photography duo Davide Luciano and Claudia Ficca have a project called "Potholes" in which they stage unusual scenes around giant potholes found in large cities (e.g. Montreal, NYC, LA, and Toronto). The project started after they collided with one such pothole and needed a way to channel their frustration into a positive project, transforming something useless into something humorous and creative.

Big City Heat Maps of Local and Tourist Photo Spots

Two weeks ago we posted on the Geotaggers' World Atlas, a project by Eric Fischer that shows heat maps of where photographs are taken in big cities, created using geolocation data from Flickr and Picasa photos.

Fischer now has a new set of maps called Locals and Tourists that distinguish between photos taken by inhabitants of the city and others who are simply passing through.

Some people interpreted the Geotaggers' World Atlas maps to be maps of tourism. This set is an attempt to figure out if that is really true. Some cities (for example Las Vegas and Venice) do seem to be photographed almost entirely by tourists. Others seem to have many pictures taken in piaces that tourists don't visit.

Blue points are locals (determined by whether the person has a history of photographing in that city), red points are tourists, and yellow points indicate photos for which it cannot be determined.

San Francisco