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Reflective Photo Series Turns Manhattan Into A Mirror-World

Donna Dotan captures unique vantages of NYC by looking down from the tops of skyscrapers.

Photographer Donna Dotan says she has a "mild obsession" with symmetry, though her series Reflections From Above makes that sound like an understatement. The architectural photographer's stunning photos—captured while looking down from skyscraper windows—offer a refracted glimpse of the city that enhances an 80-story view into an even more magnificent vantage.

"I'd always thought that New York City had already been photographed from every point of view," she told her agency Wonderful Machine in a Q&A quoted in PetaPixel, "but the beauty of photography is that there's always a new perspective to be discovered." 

Dotan started this project by accident while shooting an apartment for sale at the Mandarin Oriental in Time Warner Center, overlooking Central Park and Columbus Circle.

She explained further:

"The windows in this apartment opened from the floor and only about 5 inches for safety reasons. I really wanted to get a shot of Columbus Circle, so I wrapped my camera strap around my arm about four times and stuck the camera out through this opening. What I saw was truly incredible and a vision that would inspire this series. I could only point the camera straight down because of the limited opening, and so half of my photo was the view of Columbus Circle, while the other half was its reflections in the glass building that I was in. This photo became the first of what I knew would be a lifelong series." 

Now she describes her work as a "treasure hunt," and explains that she will continue to add to this series, with hopes of organizing a gallery exhibition one day. At this point, we've seen NYC through the lens of a traffic camera and as incredible diorama collages, but nothing that's this simple yet so visually amazing. For anyone who's ever wondered what Spider-Man sees as he crawls up the windows of an office building, Dotan's beautiful photos get us a little closer to seeing Manhattan in a whole new light. 

For more of Dotan's work, visit her website here. And special thanks to Wonderful Machine and PetaPixel!

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