New York Spaceships / by Ed Walker

When you take a photo stood at the base of a skyscraper looking up and flip the photo 180 degrees; it looks like a Star Destroyer from Star Wars flying overhead. You also get a completely new perspective on buildings, the details, the scale and the textures are fascinating.

I took my first pictures in this ‘Spaceships’ project in London, 2011. I was working at IPC and their building has a very interesting shape and also fins all over it to regular heat and light. It looks like an abstract Sci-Fi mothership. I used to walk around it and into it every day and when I took a picture at its corner and flipped it the result was abstract, interesting and somehow epic. I took a few more pictures like it but left it at that.

Fast forward to New York 2016 and I’ve spent the summer shooting my Spotlight project and it has come to a close. The period of shift between major projects is hard, you kind of feel lost for a while. You know you needed to stop what you are doing but you don’t know what to do next. I’ve dealt with this by picking up small ‘throwaway’ projects that I’ve been meaning to do. Things like my shots of New York City Foodcarts, or my Classic cars shots but something I had been meaning to pick up again was the Spaceships. I only did 5 pictures in London and they were picked up by a blog at the time, so this must have legs!

The great thing about these pictures is that the subjects don’t move, they are ambivalent about having their picture taken and really the only thing you need is the weather. Finding good subjects is an interesting task. Something that looks great from 3 blocks away can disappoint at it’s base while a wonky weird building you didn’t even notice can have a structure and texture that makes for a great shot.

I imagine that they are different types of spaceships. From small freighters to enormous cruisers that we see in the opening sequences of Star Wars. They can be straight up with clean beautiful lines but others can be jagged and be under construction making them look like battered old pirate ships.

It’s been like a palette cleanser, something I can do that shifts your focus enough for it to be a rest for your creative mind. The result is actually something a great deal more interesting, architecture photography in New York is quite a thing and I hope, with this project, to add a slightly different and new perspective to the buildings that make up this city.

You can see the rest of the ongoing project here