New York Glow: satisfying neon photography series of the Big Apple at night

Xavier Portela never set out to become renowned for a certain style of photography.

All images courtesy of Xavier Portela

All images courtesy of Xavier Portela

But his original Glow project really took off online and one thing led to another, and here he is, producing one popular series after another, as people click to view his super bright images of dazzling neon lights in pink and blue hues of cities around the world.

Electrically-charged and reminiscent of scenes from Tron or Bladerunner, he has so far featured Tokyo and Bangkok. Now he's focusing on New York with some of the Big Apple's favourite tourist spots highlighted. "The initial idea came from frustration after capturing night scenes of Tokyo a few years ago," explains Xavier. "The photographs were ok but I couldn’t get that 'electricity' feeling that you get when you are on location.

"So I left those pictures there for years. Until one day after watching some Japanese manga, I remembered those shots and I thought 'what if I try to mess with the colours and atmosphere of those compositions? Could it help to reproduce the feeling you get when you arrive in those places?' I wanted those pictures to look as if they came straight out of a manga. That’s how I landed on the idea of processing all the colours in order to make it more vibrant and powerful."

Discover more of his work at


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