George Steinmetz Captures Amazing Aerial Images of New York Using a Helicopter

See New York like you've never seen it before.

George Steinmetz,
George Steinmetz, "New York Air." Lower Manhattan on a cold winter morning. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.
George Steinmetz, "New York Air." Looking down on Times Square in NYC on a summer evening. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” Looking down on Times Square in NYC on a summer evening.
Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

You may think you know New York, but photographer George Steinmetz reveals a whole new side to the city in his stunning aerial photographs of the city.

These bird’s-eye views are the subject of “George Steinmetz: New York Air,” an exhibition at New York’s Anastasia Photo, as well as New York Air: The View from Above, a new book from Harry N. Abrams.

Steinmetz first took to the skies in 1997, using a motorized paraglider to shoot inaccessible landscapes for his work for publications such as National Geographic. Though he is perhaps best-known for his exploration photography, Steinmetz has found a muse in New York (where he has to settle for a helicopter), carefully navigating airspace restrictions to document the city that never sleeps from new heights.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." Lower Manhattan on a cold winter morning. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” Lower Manhattan on a cold winter morning. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

Steinmetz has shot it all, from familiar sites like lower Manhattan (including artnet News’s offices on the 26th floor of the famous Woolworth Building, seen above) to lesser known attractions such as the Kissena Park Velodrome in Queens.

There’s even a shot of the rooftop mural late night talk show host Stephen Colbert had French street artist JR create at the old Colbert Report studios.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." A photographic installation by the artist JR adorns the roof of a building used to tape The Colbert Report on West 54th Street. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” A photographic installation by the artist JR adorns the roof of a building used to tape The Colbert Report on West 54th Street.
Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

We’ve seen aerial New York photography before, from Jeffrey Milstein, but the two photographers take a different approach to the subject. Where Milstein focuses on the linear geometric patterns formed by the urban grid, Steinmetz’s work is more intimate, honing in on New Yorkers’ daily lives and rituals: movies at Bryant Park, ice skating at Rockefeller Center, or just sunbathing at a rooftop pool.

Steinmetz’s Instagram, which pairs his gorgeous photography with fascinating captions packed with obscure historical facts (did you know, for instance, that Central Park’s Sheeps Meadow was actually home to grazing sheep until the 1930s?), is a must-follow.

See more photos from the exhibition:

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." Looking north up the High Line near W. 23rd Street and 10th Ave. in New York city on a Saturday afternoon in early spring. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” Looking north up the High Line near W. 23rd Street and 10th Ave. in New York city on a Saturday afternoon in early spring.
Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." Beachgoers soak in the sun in Coney Island, Brooklyn, on Labor Day Weekend. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” Beachgoers soak in the sun in Coney Island, Brooklyn, on Labor Day Weekend.
Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." At twilight, Manhattan resembles a vast living organism with ribbons of energy pulsing through its streets and up into its hundred thousand buildings. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” At twilight, Manhattan resembles a vast living organism with ribbons of energy pulsing through its streets and up into its hundred thousand buildings.
Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." Rockefeller Center on a busy shopping day a week before Christmas, as seen from the roof of Saks Fifth Avenue. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” Rockefeller Center on a busy shopping day a week before Christmas, as seen from the roof of Saks Fifth Avenue.
Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." Ice skaters crowd Wollman Rink on the SE corner of Central Park during the winter holiday season. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” Ice skaters crowd Wollman Rink on the SE corner of Central Park during the winter holiday season. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." Residential section of Stuyvesant Heights section of Brooklyn, near Fulton Park. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” Residential section of Stuyvesant Heights section of Brooklyn, near Fulton Park.
Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." Snow covered Washington Square Park in the early morning after a Nor'easter snowfall. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” Snow covered Washington Square Park in the early morning after a Nor’easter snowfall.
Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." This photograph was taken from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, looking uptown. It’s reminiscent of Berenice Abbott’s famous Night View, 1932, taken from the same vantage point but looking downtown. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” This photograph was taken from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, looking uptown. It’s reminiscent of Berenice Abbott’s famous Night View (1932), taken from the same vantage point but looking downtown. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." The Golf Club driving range at Chelsea Piers in New York City on an spring afternoon. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” The Golf Club driving range at Chelsea Piers in New York City on an spring afternoon.
Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." The Sixty LES Hotel, at 190 Allen Street, boasts an “Andy Warhol filmstrip pool” on the roof. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” The Sixty LES Hotel, at 190 Allen Street, boasts an “Andy Warhol filmstrip pool” on the roof.
Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." Rooftop pool at the 300 Mercer Street Building in early summer afternoon in New York City. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” Rooftop pool at the 300 Mercer Street Building in early summer afternoon in New York City.
Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." New York City as seen from the 86th floor observation deck of the Empire State Building. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” New York City as seen from the 86th floor observation deck of the Empire State Building.
Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." Go-Karts careen around the Coney Island Raceway, Luna Park, Labor Day Weekend. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” Go-Karts careen around the Coney Island Raceway, Luna Park, Labor Day Weekend. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." The carousel in Coney Island with MCU Baseball park in the background during a game between the Brooklyn Cyclones and the Staten Island Yankees on Labor Day weekend in New York City. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” The carousel in Coney Island with MCU Baseball park in the background during a game between the Brooklyn Cyclones and the Staten Island Yankees on Labor Day weekend in New York City.
Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." Riders at the Kissena Park Velodrome on an autumn morning with peak fall color in New York city. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” Riders at the Kissena Park Velodrome on an autumn morning with peak fall color in New York city.
Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." Coney Island’s Luna Park hibernates under a soft blanket of snow. The Cyclone roller coaster in the foreground, dating from 1927, is one of three New York City landmark rides in the area. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” Coney Island’s Luna Park hibernates under a soft blanket of snow. The Cyclone roller coaster in the foreground, dating from 1927, is one of three New York City landmark rides in the area. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." Sunbathers enjoy the first warm afternoon of spring on the Sheep Meadow in Central Park. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” Sunbathers enjoy the first warm afternoon of spring on the Sheep Meadow in Central Park. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." Taxi waiting area at JFK airport in New York city on a spring morning. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” Taxi waiting area at JFK airport in New York city on a spring morning.
Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." Moviegoers enjoying Saturday Night Fever on the lawn in Bryant Park at the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” Moviegoers enjoying Saturday Night Fever on the lawn in Bryant Park at the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival.
Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." Sam Querrey is serving to Novak Djokovic in the third round of the men’s singles at the 2014 US Open. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” Sam Querrey is serving to Novak Djokovic in the third round of the men’s singles at the 2014 US Open.
Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, "New York Air." Runners take cups of water from volunteers along 4th Avenue in Brooklyn. The New York Road Runners, which produces the marathon, stocked 2.3 million paper cups for the event. Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

George Steinmetz, “New York Air.” Runners take cups of water from volunteers along 4th Avenue in Brooklyn. The New York Road Runners, which produces the marathon, stocked 2.3 million paper cups for the event.
Photo: George Steinmetz, courtesy Anastasia Photo.

“George Steinmetz: New York Air” will be on view at Anastasia Photo, 143 Ludlow Street, New York, November 3, 2015–January 9, 2016.


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