Neon photographs of Times Square shot from above show a futuristic NYC

It was Xavier Portela's sixth visit to New York in less than a decade when he decided to try and capture another angle of the city that never sleeps. Having enjoyed some recognition and success with his ongoing Glow series at different metropolises around the world, including the Big Apple, this time he wanted to see things from above.

All images courtesy of the artist. Via Creative Boom submission.

All images courtesy of the artist. Via Creative Boom submission.

Calling on a friend of a friend, who happened to be a helicopter pilot, he took to the skies for a one hour flight over Manhattan at sunset, heading to one famous part of NYC. "We were lucky because, usually, Times Square is off-limits for helicopter flights. We had one passage over the area in the dark and I captured these pictures," Xavier explained.

"Technically, it was a bit hard because I had only one chance and with the helicopter moving all the time and the light being very low, I had to go up to 6400, 12800 and even 25600 ISO on my Canon 5D Mark IV in order to keep my shutter speed fast enough. After that, I used Adobe Lightroom to post-process the colours and give it this look of sci-fi city feel."

You can discover more of Xavier's recent work at or follow him on Instagram @xavierportela.


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