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An evocative series shot for Men’s Health Magazine, “Gotham 7.5K” looks down on New York City from 7,500 feet up. That’s higher than airplane level. The shots were taken by photographer-filmmaker Vincent Laforet while leaning out of a helicopter and secured in a full body harness. Extreme even for a seasoned aerial photographer such as Laforet, the experience was frightening and cold but worth it for the breathtaking results. The night photography shows the Big Apple as a system of lights against a backdrop of blue-black water and sky. As the photographer notes, the electric colors of the city are reminiscent of how the brain’s synapses appear on a scan. Though taken from a great distance, the pictures show New York at its core, as a complex beauty, a symbol, and a relic of the human imagination.

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