• 08.24.16

Photographing The Messy, Frenetic Glory Of Manhattan

It’s rare to see New York captured in a totally new way, but Kyoung Sop Choi has done it.

Woody Allen’s Manhattan is, perhaps, the most famous portrait of NYC. Its low contrast black and white photography catches the city in a stark, seedy glamour. 37 years later, photographer Kyoung Sop Choi has captured Manhattan’s polar opposite: a fast-paced mecca worshipping the gods of overstimulation.


“When I was in New York [producing a] time lapse in a cold winter time, I encountered streets bustling with nightlife, non-stopping lights and subways, ferries, [streams] of people etc. The gigantic city, to me, was a big melting pot of all sorts of colors,” Choi writes on his Vimeo page. “So I tried to express the colors.”

As highlighted by Gizmodo, the resulting video is shot in a crystal-clear 8K resolution (which is several times sharper than your HDTV), with shots of Times Square, Union Station, and Washington Square Park that are so saturated in colors they might be painted in Skittles. But color isn’t the only dimension Choi works in. Some of the best moments happen in pseudo 3D, thanks to meticulous time-lapse pans and dolly shots–a swoop around the Statue of Liberty makes her look like a dancer in the copper flesh, while a quick pull out from the bull of Wall Street makes him look intimidating–even menacing.

It’s a hyperreal portrait of the city that will make you fall in love with the hustle and bustle of New York all over again. And as planes dart through the sky like fireflies, you’ll forget about the escalating rent in your shoebox apartment for another week.

About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company. He started, a simple way to give back every day.