This is a great image of a city that seems designed to bring great images into being. Sergey Semonov, a Russian photographer, submitted the image to the Epson International Photographic Pano Awards
, and took first prize in the amateur category.
Semonov works on a small noncommercial team called AirPano
, which travels the globe creating these 3D aerial panoramas
. They shoot from helicopters and then stitch the images together. Mostly, they produce these spherical panoramas that I find confusing to navigate, but clearly this one has been flattened for our viewing pleasure.
“I shoot landscapes, spheres from helicopter, gig-pixel panoramas as well as manipulate Photoshop and prepare the photos to be printed in a huge size and organize photo-exhibitions,” Semonov wrote of his work at AirPano. “I like new, progressive and unique things.”
Along with the images of Manhattan, you can find many other beautiful/interesting places, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Taj Mahal, Dubai City, the Alps, and the Pyramids.
UPDATE: It’s worth noting that this image — while definitely real — also has some serious distortions of building height. I don’t know the exact specifics, but think of a world map. You know how it makes Greenland seem big in some projections? That’s kind of what we’re seeing here.
UPDATE 2: Designer Danya Henninger offers, “It’s likely made like a regular 360-degree virtual tour and then mapped flat with Vedutismo projection.”