Day view of Manhattan, New York, USA
In 2006 I shot our very first spherical aerial panorama, from which the AirPano project started, in the beautiful place of the Colorado and the San Juan rivers confluence (USA):
The result was overwhelming – by looking at the large screen one had a total illusion of flying over the canyon. And so we decided to continue our experiments.
The next attempt was made in 2007 above the island of Manhattan. I remember this photo shoot by one funny detail: there were no headphones for passengers in the helicopter's cabin. I had to shout from the back seat (while trying to overcome the engine roar that was coming from the open door) to let the pilot know where to go. He didn't hear me anyway, so in order to change the shooting position I had to tap on his shoulder and then – after he looked at me – I had to point the direction with my finger where the thumb down meant moving lower. And guess how I showed him to go higher :) It was fun.
After that incident, when hiring a helicopter I always ask: Do you have passenger headphones in the cabin?
And pilots are always surprised: But of course! Is it possible not to have them?
Yes, it is possible,— I answer — In New York :)
Despite of all the difficulties, this photo shoot was accomplished, delivering world's first virtual photo tour above Manhattan.
There were many more flights after this one, and many like-minded people joined AirPano project in the process. As of today we shot around 100 spherical panoramas of the most interesting and beautiful places in all the continents of our planet. Except for Antarctica. We also made virtual photo tours over the world's most beautiful cities.
In 2011 we returned to New York to once again photograph Manhattan: this time making it much better technically and artistically. Enjoy the daytime aerial panoramas of Manhattan now. The evening flight over Manhattan and the large photographic virtual tour will be published in the nearest future.
New York is the most famous city of the USA, and Manhattan is the most famous part of New York. It all started 400 years ago when the most famous and profitable in human history real estate deal was made: the Native Americans sold this 'not so useful' piece of land to Europeans for 24 dollars.
Since that time the island has changed dramatically. For 24 dollars one can probably buy a ticket to the Empire State Building.
Present day Manhattan is the most populated island on Earth. The land itself costs about 40 billion US dollars, and the cost of the entire Manhattan, including its real estate, reaches over 3 trillion US dollars.
This remarkable part of New York City is best to be discovered on foot – not only because of the infamous New York traffic or cost of parking in New York. There is a joke in New York that only wasteful people can afford driving in New York, because the time one spends on finding a parking spot sometimes equals the time it takes to drive from one side of Manhattan to another.
New York is known to be a financial capital of the world, and the island of Manhattan is where all the banks, offices, largest insurance companies and corporations are located – literally one on top of another. Basically the rest of New York, and eventually, the rest of the United States, work for Manhattan, making sure that this gigantic «city inside of the city» continues its mission – processing the wealth of the whole world.
Besides a large number of museums, almost every building in Manhattan has a historical value. Old buildings harmoniously coexist with the best examples of the modern architecture. Most famous New York attractions are located in Manhattan, including Empire State Building mentioned above, Central Park and Times Square. There is also colorful China Town and bright Broadway – they are all located on this island. It is a shame not to bring a photo of Manhattan from your trip to New York!
We also made our modest Manhattan photo album. These panoramas were photographed in the summer of 2011.
Text by Oleg Gaponyuk, photography by Dmitry Moiseenko
17 April 2012