NYC Fractals is a series by the German photographer Carsten Witte.

Witte, who is a commercial photographer by trade, travels to New York frequently. A mid-December visit netted these images.

Shooting the towers of the Financial District and Lower Manhattan, Witte chose to focus in on sections of their facades.

By capturing portions of the buildings without showing their scale, he draws attention to the details and patterns found in the natural deformation of the building envelope.

Here, a reflection of another building appears in a glass facade.

The patterns are wild and unorderly, almost textile-like.

Witte calls them "fractals," and says that they hint at the “psychedelic insides” of each building.

Witte also culled images from nearby his Midtown hotel.

Through Witte’s lens, solid structures become fallible, sagging under their own weight.

Patterns emerge amidst dozens of disparate structures.

Check out the full Fractal series here.


Photographs That Explore The Financial District’s Sagging Facades

A German photographer captures light as it plays across the warping building envelopes of buildings in Lower Manhattan.

"The charm of a city," wrote the great street photographer Robert Doisneau, "is not unlike the charm of flowers. It partly depends on seeing time creep across it. Charm needs to be fleeting." Doisneau’s city of choice was Paris in the 1930s, but his words still ring true—especially with regard to these shimmering photos of Manhattan facades by German photog Carsten Witte.

Witte is a commercial photographer based in Hamburg, but he spends a lot of time in New York, camera in hand. His tightly framed images catch anonymous buildings in unexpectedly beautiful moments. A December trip to Manhattan netted photographs of winter sunlight warping across countless panes of glass in the Financial District. The patterns are wild and unorderly, almost textile-like. Witte calls them "fractals," and says that they hint at the "psychedelic insides" of each building.

Unlike the linear repetition of facade photography by artists like Michael Wolf, these images show us a city sagging under its own weight. We tend to think of buildings—steel, glass, and concrete—as solid and unwavering. But through Witte’s lens, structures become fallible, middle-aged, shining as though under a thin layer of sweat.

Check out the full Fractal series here.

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